Back-to-school shopping is always an exciting time. Picking out new books, binders, pens, and pencils to use for the year ahead can help you prepare your kids for the coming school year. Though the type of pencils you get or the number of erasers you buy might not have a significant impact on your child by the end of the year, the same cannot be said for their backpack. Finding an appropriately sized book bag is an important factor when it comes to preventing poor posture and back pain down the road. Keep these tips in mind to help you choose the perfect backpack for your kids.
How does improper sizing affect posture
Back pain is on the rise for children all across the school district. According to a study done by the University of California, one-third of all children aged 11-14 report back pain. Most pediatric health care professionals agree that oversized or improperly used backpacks are to blame. The downward pressure on the spine can cause muscle strains and distort the natural curve of the spine. Compensating for this extra weight can cause children to lean forward, develop rounded shoulders and compress the upper spine. Many kids wear their backpacks with one strap. This further disrupts the curvature of the spine and can strain the neck and shoulder muscles. Not only are these bags causing health problems, but they increase the chances of falling over.
Finding the Right Size for You
The hip and core muscles carry the bulk of the weight of a backpack. For the best support, bookbags should be centered between the shoulder blades. You can find the proper width by measuring the distance between the shoulder blades, then add an inch on either side. To find the proper bookbag height, measure from two inches under the shoulder line to the waist or belly button. Now add 2 inches to that figure and you have the proper height for your child’s backpack. A well-fitting backpack should sit roughly 2 inches below the shoulders, and 4 inches below the waist. When you are picking out a backpack, remember that less is more. The smaller the backpack, the less chance there is of your child filling it to the brim with heavy books. Make sure your child always uses both straps to prevent strains, but above all, make sure it is comfortable to wear.
Find Pediatric Rehabilitation Near me
The good news is that damage caused by wearing heavy backpacks improperly is completely reversible. If you are worried that your kids may be suffering from backpack-related pain, get in contact with us today. Here at Excellence rehab and physical therapy, we are dedicated to providing top-of-the-line pediatric physical therapy services so that your kid can get the support they need to be successful. If you would like to learn more about our pediatric services or you are interested in booking an appointment, get in touch with us today.