MORE THAN 70% OF AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN CAN SUFFER BACK AND NECK PAIN FROM SCHOOL BAG
With the return of school, it’s important to make sure that your child has a safe backpack for the year ahead. Stress put on the spine can cause them to lean too far forward, causing distortion of the natural spine & rolling of their shoulders.
At Eramosa Physiotherapy, we recommend the following tips when selecting a backpack so that your child can have a pain free year.
KEY FEATURES WHEN PURCHASING A BACKPACK:
- Wide shoulder straps that are comfortable and sit well on the shoulders
- Waist and chest straps to help transfer some of the load to hips and pelvis
- A padded back support that allows the pack to ﬁt ‘snugly’ on the back and protect from being poked by sharp edges on objects such as pencils, rulers, or notepads
- Have multiple compartments to distribute the load and prevent it from shifting
- Check for a backpack which carries an endorsement from a professional health organisation
FITTING OF THE BACKPACK:
- The top of the backpack should not be more than 3cm higher than the shoulders so that the child can look up at the ceiling without hitting it
- The bottom of the bag should be slightly lower than the iliac crest
- If you child’s bag has a waist strap, it should wrap around the body just below the iliac crest. This allows some of the bags weight to be taken by the hips, reducing the load on the back and shoulders
- If the bag contains a sternal strap, this should be positioned 6cm below the collarbone
- When sitting with the backpack on, the pack should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders
CONSIDERATIONS WITH USE:
- Child should not be carrying more than 10% of their body weight
- Keep the load close to the spine – pack the heaviest items nearest your child’s back
- Child must wear both straps at all times in order to distribute weight evenly across both shoulders, rather than put the strain on one
- Always wear the waist belt
- Encourage your child to be organised when packing their school bag to ensure they are only carrying what they need
To get your child’s backpack ﬁtted properly contact us to make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists today.
None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.