Backpack Safety for Your Children

Backpack Safety for your Children - Back to School: 4 Keys to a Healthy Spine in the Classroom - barrington IL chiropractors at Van Ness Chiropractic
Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for children such as poor posture, neck issues and back pain. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends a backpack weigh no more than 5% to 10% of a child’s weight. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor. According to preliminary results of studies conducted in France, the longer a child wears a backpack incorrectly, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself.

When selecting a backpack, look for proper size! A backpack should not be wider than your child’s torso or hang more than four inches below the waist. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking. Look for padded shoulder straps to help distribute the weight on your child’s back. Also look for a padded back to protect against contents inside the backpack poking into your child’s back. Check the fit of the backpack and make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes posture problems. Also make certain the shoulder straps are tightened so the backpack is fitted to your child’s back. A dangling backpack can cause spinal misalignment and pain.

Have your child pack smartly and help them determine what is absolutely necessary to carry. If it is not essential, have them leave it at home, in their locker or in the classroom. Teach your child to load the backpack with the heaviest items first closest to the bottom and the center of the back of the backpack. Make use of the multiple compartments to distribute the load of contents evenly. A bigger backpack is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will be.

Teaching your child how to pack their backpacks correctly and wear one safely will help protect their posture and most importantly their spinal health.

The Van Ness Chiropractic Difference
At Van Ness Chiropractic, we realize that chiropractic care is not one size fits all.  We have the clinical knowledge and expert staff to offer targeted treatment and patient education that is effective and empowering.  Call us today at 847-842-8070 to set up your appointment for a comprehensive examination and get your family on the road to health today.  You can also visit us at to find out more.