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Back to School Back Health

School is meant to be challenging, but it’s not supposed to be painful. Many kids feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, from social pressures to assignment deadlines. Although it might not be quite as heavy as the world, too many children actually do carry around a lot of weight on their shoulders…in the form of their backpacks. These heavy loads place stress on their spines, which causes muscle strain and fatigue. For some kids, the aches and pains can get bad enough they need to seek medical attention. Too much weight can also lead to posture abnormalities, headaches, and inattentiveness due to discomfort.

In our “information era”, class loads are larger than ever, and being prepared for class means

carrying books back and forth between school and home. You can help your child lighten the

load by making sure you select the right backpack style and fit for your child. We’ve done the work for you, and listed below are our favorite recommendations for children based on their age group:

For elementary school kids, our absolute favorite backpack is the Firebird Flyer Backpack , which boasts multiple fun designs, but also a unique horizontal design and drop shoulder straps that distribute weight laterally along the back and resists heavy pulling on the shoulders. This backpack is perfect for kids ages 3 and up. (It also comes with matching rain boots and a lunchbox, so your child can be the *most* stylish one on the bus!)

For Middle School aged children, we found that the Ergo Bag is likely the best on the market

when it comes to back health. This backpack even has a buckling waist strap to help offset

some of the weight on your child’s shoulders, and has multiple adjustable straps and “grow

technology” so this durable backpack can adjust to your child’s growth spurts.

For High Schoolers, this Primary Physiopack III is top notch, and the Impact Ergocomfort

Backpack is a close second. Both are roomy, lightweight, ergonomically designed to help reduce slouching, and are still stylish enough to get the compliments from fellow classmates.

For those kids who are no longer kids and have flocked to college, the Kopak Antitheft Laptop Backpack is our recommendation. It’s great for commuting and on-campus students alike, with sizes to accommodate both 15” and 17” laptops, a USB charging station, and straps that distribute weight along the traps.

Lets not forget the adults (and parents)! We strongly recommend the Happy Teeth backpack

designed by healthcare professionals. This backpack can be fully customized to you and your

lifestyle. It’s a multipurpose backpack that accommodates a full workday with a shoe storage

pocket, insulated lunch enclosure, and can even be used as an ergonomic diaper bag for the


Keys to Backpack Safety

Make sure your child uses both backpack straps. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and this can cause muscle pain and posture problems.

Make sure the shoulder straps are tight, so the backpack fits closely to your child’s back.

A low-hanging backpack can cause spinal misalignment and pain.

Encourage your child to use the chest and waist straps and adjust them to the load each time, to and from school.

If the backpacks we recommended aren’t your style, here are seven tips to ensure you select the right backpack for your precious little one. Ensuring your child has the right-sized backpack and wears it properly can prevent back pain or posture problems. Follow these seven tips to allow your child to have a safe, healthy, pain-free school year!

Choose an appropriate size: Chiropractors recommend the backpack not

be wider than your child’s torso. It also shouldn’t hang more than 4 inches

below the waist.

Make sure it has wide, padded, and adjustable shoulder straps. Double shoulder straps

allow the weight to be spread out evenly. Wide, padded shoulder straps will prevent

them from digging into the skin.

Inspect for a padded back to protect against contents inside from poking into your child’s body.

Chiropractors recommend using the waist and chest straps to help distribute the

backpacks weight more evenly across your child’s back.

Make sure it has multiple compartments so that the weight is distributed effectively.

Check for inside compression straps to stabilize the contents.

Chose a backpack with reflective material on the outside, so your

child is more visible.

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