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Kids' Backpacks Are Too Heavy

It's almost Back To School time and Chiro Clinic Moncton wishes to provide the community with up to date information when selecting a backpack for children. Furthermore, it's incredibly important to know how much weight to put in that backpack to avoid injury. In recent times, more and more children are presenting to chiropractors with chronic back pain due to excessive weight in a backpack, inappropriate carrying of the pack altogether, and poor quality design.

When a backpack is worn correctly, the weight is appropriately distributed across the body - thus lessening the chance of neck, shoulder, and back injuries. With kids often lugging around their entire locker's worth of books, school supplies, and lunch - it's essential to get this right! Too much weight can pull the child's posture backward, causing them to compensate by leaning forward - which place excessive strain on the shoulders and spine. Carrying a backpack on one shoulder (because it apparently looks cool) causes a child to lean to the side to offset the extra weight, which may lead to neck strain and headaches. Excessively heavy backpacks with tight and narrow straps may dig into a child's shoulders - which could cause blood circulation and nerve irritation problems in the arms.

Here's what you need to know:

- A child's backpack should never weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.

- Wide padded straps and a waist belt help to better distribute the load.

- Multiple compartments disperse weight more evenly.

- Upright posture when carrying a backpack prevents chronic back pain in children.

My advice to all parents is to weigh that loaded backpack and make sure it's an appropriate design. Encouraging children to stand up straight and being aware of good posture is crucial to preventing future back pain.


Dr Ryan Coster is a Moncton chiropractor providing treatment for muscle and joint pain at Chiro Clinic Moncton. Using the latest chiropractic techniques, he focusses on keeping his patients active and pain-free. Call the clinic on (506) 852-3900 to arrange an appointment.

29 Mountain Road, Moncton NB

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