Healthy Living

Chiropractic Tips For Back To School Bags

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This is the time of year when pencils, crayons and lunch boxes fill the retail stores. Back to school time means new stuff, schedule changes and growth. Like most kids, picking out the perfect back pack is all about style, color and extras-think bells and whistles. Cool pockets, light up straps and sweet key chains on the zipper. While color, theme and characters are necessary for kids to make a legitimate choice, parents need to make their decision based upon other vital factors necessary for good back health. Some qualities to take into account when shopping for a backpack for your child: Endurance. The backpack should be made out of a quality material that is water resistant. The best back packs are able to resist moisture so additional weight isn't added to the backpack and to keep the contents intact, especially with many children carrying electronics to school. Dimensions. The backpack should be big but not too big that your child is tempted to fill it up. A heavy backpack is not a good backpack to carry around for a long period of time. Chiropractors see a high rate of children with early onset back pain because of backpacks that are too heavy or that unevenly distribute the weights content on the child's body. A backpack should be no more than 15% of the carriers entire body weight. If it's helpful, weigh the backpack on a scale before your child puts it on. Once you know what 15% of the child's weight looks like, you can probably determine by picking it up each day if it's too heavy for him/her. Size. Many children find it's easy and quick to slip their backpack onto one shoulder to carry to school and during school each day. This frequent and uneven weight on just one shoulder can throw a child off balance, force him/her to stand at an awkward angle, slouching and leaning making for poor posture. Carrying a load of school supplies can be challenging enough but forcing your body to carry all of the weight on one side of your body will take its toll resulting in back, neck and shoulder pain. Make sure your child's backpack is sitting evenly on both shoulders with enough slack in the straps for comfort but snug enough so the backpack isn't dangling below the child's lower back/buttocks. This time of year is exciting for kids for many reasons. Make sure they can enjoy school once they get there with a backpack that can keep up with your kids and their schedule.