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Posted on 09-07-2017

Well, it's that time of year again – kids are heading back to school. Parents are now out buying their children backpacks to use for books and school supplies. Below are some of the things we at Tannenbaum Chiropractic in Ann Arbor tell our patients to consider when buying a backpack for their child.

Things to look for in purchasing a backpack for your child:

You want the backpack to fit correctly: that is, not too tight and not too loose. It should fit comfortably over the shoulders, and so the weight of items in the backpack can be distributed evenly over the shoulders. The bottom of the pack should sit no more than three inches below the waist line.

How to wear a backpack:

The weight of the items put in the backpack shouldn't exceed 15% of the child's weight. Ideally, the heavier items in the pack should be placed closer to the front of the pack (that is, closer to the child's back). The backpack should always be worn over both shoulders and not slung over one shoulder.

How to put on a backpack:

  1. Place the backpack in front of you with straps of the pack facing away toward you and grab the pack by the top of the straps.

  2. Bend your knees and lift the backpack, keeping it close to your body while straightening your knees.

  3. Gently swing the backpack to one side of your body, so you can slip one arm through the strap on the side you are swinging the pack to, and then bring the pack over the shoulder on the same side of your body. Then slide the opposite arm through the strap on that side of the body and gently slide the strap over that shoulder.

Bicycles and backpacks:

Here’s what prompted me to write this blog post: today I saw a small child wearing a huge, bulky backpack attempt to get on a bicycle and ride it through a busy intersection. It took the child several tries, and I was holding my breath hoping she wouldn’t hurt herself. If your child is going to be riding a bike to and from school, it would be helpful to have some practice sessions with a loaded backpack. Children are often surprised how a weight on their back affects their balance. Being in a busy intersection is not the time to learn how to maneuver a bike while wearing a heavy backpack.

Get chiropractic care:

Wearing a backpack, and even just doing normal activities, will likely cause a child to have misaligned spinal bones, which can lead to other nerve and musculoskeletal injuries. With this in mind, it is important that kids have regular chiropractic treatments (adjustments) to make sure their spines are properly aligned. Regular chiropractic will improve spinal bone alignment, help prevent injuries, and help children reach as close to their 100% potential as possible.

If you have any questions about this blog post, chiropractic, back pain, neck pain, or chiropractic care, I can be contacted at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office at mgtannenbaum@hotmail.com, or you can comment below directly to this blog post.

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