October 30, 2017
The 200,000 Year Old Doctor
Picking out the Backpack: While style is important, you don’t want to sacrifice comfort. Look for a backpack with a padded back and wide straps. Wide straps and padding will not hinder circulation. Waist and chest straps are helpful to transfer weight from back and shoulders to trunk and pelvis. Multiple compartments can also be very helpful to better distribute weight and keep the back pack organized.
1. 10% Maximum Weight: This means a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than 10 pounds.
2. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
3. Arrange books and materials securely.
4. Pack only necessary items that you will need for the school day.
5. If the backpack is too heavy, consider using a book bag on wheels.
When having the child place the backpack on their back, instruct them to lift properly using their legs and both hands. Keep the trunk of the body stable and avoid excessive twisting. Wear both straps over the shoulders and tighten so the backpack fits snugly on your child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles. Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back near the child’s center of gravity, and should not extend below the belt for than a couple of inches.
One last tip as always…Encourage activity! Children who are active tend to have better muscle flexibility and strength, which makes it easier to carry a backpack.
Good luck this year to all students!
Dr. Jessica D.