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Backpacks Shouldn't Be Backbreaking

Happy kids with backpacksAt the top of many kids’ back-to-school shopping list is a cool new backpack. Whether they’re adorned with cartoon characters, superheroes, sports logos or monograms, they usually have one thing in common: they’re far too heavy for many kids to carry.

Toting Too Much

We see a lot of kids putting a strain on their bodies with backpacks. Did you know that you’re only supposed to carry about 10% of your body weight? Let’s face it; there are not a lot of 50-pound kids carrying around 5-pound backpacks. It’s more likely that they’re hauling 25-pound packs. So they end up overdoing what their body’s physical limits are.

Making Forward Head Posture Problems Worse

From texting and tweeting to surfing and posting, gadget usage is creating forward head posture in kids. Carrying a heavy backpack over one shoulder also increases forward head posture problems.

Carrying a Backpack Correctly

According to Dr. Devine, a good-fitting backpack should be cinched up not too tight around the shoulders and not pulling down on the shoulders. It also should have a strap around the waist to offer more support.

If kids are wearing more than 10% of their weight, they should pull out one or two of the heftiest items in their backpack and carry those things in front of their body to balance the weight. It’s also a good idea for kids to position the heaviest items in the middle of the backpack and close to their back.

The Connection between Asthma & Allergies and Heavy Backpacks

The American Academy of Pediatrics has done some studies and recognizes that there’s a connection between asthma and allergies and heavy backpacks. That’s because of the tension the backpack creates in the upper thoracic spine.

Dr. Devine is an expert in biomechanical stress, which leads many pediatricians and sometimes physical therapists to refer children to us for care.

We are passionate about ensuring that kids have healthy spines that are free of nervous system interference.
Book an appointment for your child today!

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