27 August 2019
Back Pack Safety
It’s time to start thinking about going back to school! This hand out provides tips and tricks for back pack safety in order to help prevent injury. Children who improperly wear back packs or carry too much weight in their back packs have an increased likely hood for back, neck, or shoulder pain. Children who carry too much weight in their back pack may also learn bad posture; which leads to slouching or jutting and leaning head forward. These poor postures can also lead to further pain or chronic fatigue. Improperly wearing a back pack can also have more serious side effects over time and cause spinal abnormalities, such as scoliosis. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine.
Proper Wearing Technique:
1. Always wear both shoulder straps instead of just one shoulder. Padded straps are best.
2. Adjust the straps so that the back pack does not fall below the waist and sits fully on the back.
3. If the back pack has chest or waist straps, they should be used as it helps redistribute the weight and relieves pressure from the shoulders as well as helps to hold back pack in proper position.
4. Don’t allow child to carry more than 10% of their body weight in their back pack (if back pack is too heavy, the child may not be able to stand up straight and the back pack will not lay flat against their back).
5. Load heavier items in the back of the back pack, closer to your child’s back
Tips To Decrease Back Pack Load:
1. Have your child carry lunch box or other items that are easily carried
2. Only send your child to school with necessities (ie. No toys, supplies not required, etc.)
3. If the school allows it, have your child leave as many supplies in their desk as possible and bring home only necessities each day (ie. Homework folder, notebook, etc.)
4. If the school allows it, consider a back pack with wheels
If you have questions regarding your child’s development. Please call us at 410-358-1997. For more info on Pediatric Physical Therapy click here