Pack it Light!
Kids are heading back to school! That means many of them will be carrying around their backpacks filled with books and homework. As exciting as this time of year is, it’s important to remember that a backpack can actually cause back pain if too heavy or not packed correctly.
In fact, over 50% of Canadian youth will experience at least one back pain episode during their school years. Not only are these injuries painful, they can directly impact a student’s ability to concentrate and learn. They can also have an impact on the enjoyment of leisure and sports activities, which are an equally critical part of a young person’s life.
This school year, we have your back when it comes to backpacks! Here are a few tips to make sure your child doesn’t feel like they are carrying the world in their backpack.
Pack it Light Tips
Make a List:
Make a list of things you will need for each day and pack accordingly. Don’t keep stuff you won’t need in your backpack.
Weigh the Load:
Children in grades K – 8 should only carry a backpack that is 10% of their total weight. Grades 9 and up can go up to 15%.
Balance the Load:
Pack heaviest items closest to your back. Stuff should not slide around in your backpack, so get one with lots of compartments to balance the load. Spreading out the load evenly in the backpack will also help reduce the strain on your child’s back, neck and shoulders.
Go Beyond the Backpack
If you’re looking for more ways to help your child keep a healthy back during the school year, use the Straighten Up Canada app which features adult and youth exercise options. You can also visit your chiropractor or find one near you to discuss prevention of back pain in your youth.
Spread the Word
Looking to create awareness about backpack safety in your school or community? Click the image to download our Pack it Light handout below.