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School’s almost back in session, and that means the return of the dreaded, heavy backpack.

I remember when my daughter carried every textbook she owned to each and every class, simply because she did not have time to run to her locker in between classes. I could barely drag her backpack across the floor due to the weight! She constantly complained that her back hurt but wouldn’t be caught dead with the roller bags since most kids thought they were uncool (insert eye roll here).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, backpacks should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. That means an 11-year-old of average weight — 80 pounds — should be carrying a backpack that weighs no more than 8 to 16 pounds.

Proper backpack safety is critical to reducing possible injury from backpack poor-positioning and overweighting which can drastically change the sagittal balance of the child. Extra weight can cause large amounts of pressure on the spine during a time of musculoskeletal development and growth and can harm their posture.

One solution (other than the roller bag), is to make sure your child is utilizing both straps and not slinging the backpack over onto one shoulder. Carrying the backpack on just one side can lead to a whole other set of problems, including muscular imbalance. Speaking to your child’s teachers/school about alternative solutions may also help. And, believe it or not, cleaning out your child’s backpack can also alleviate some weight. All those unnecessary school supplies and miscellaneous papers can really add up!

Last, but not least, if you’re concerned about the effect of your child’s backpack on his/her spine and posture, have them come into Backsmart Wellness Center for a free and fast posture assessment. First, we’ll perform a simple, initial posture analysis and then follow up with an assessment with their backpack on. Next, we’ll generate a comparative report so that you can see the noted changes, as well as offer suggestions based on our professional experience.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Chiropractor in Edison

A complete chiropractic plan of care helps patients become stronger, relieve stress, manage pain and enjoy the highest possible quality of life. Let our chiropractor in Edison help you achieve your health goals. Call Backsmart Wellness Center today at 732-661-1121.

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