There’s much more to a backpack than color, style and a logo. An ill-fitting backpack can cause damage to children, some even end up in the emergency room according to experts.
“Each year kids come to us with a variety of real musculoskeletal issues that keep them from being able to play sports and enjoy their daily activities,” said Dr. Anna Taylor, a pediatric chiropractic specialist with Van Every Family Chiropractic Center.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, backpacks that are worn incorrectly, or are too heavy, can cause injuries from muscle and joint pain to back, neck and shoulder issues. The National Posture Institute goes one step further, citing more than 20,000 annual trips to the emergency room with a direct link to bad backpacks.
That’s why Dr. Saylor is offering free backpack fittings and posture screenings from August 15 up until August 29— you can reserve a free appointment by calling 248.616.0900.
“We have a fantastic posture app that can measure the weight of the head’s forward posture when the backpack is on versus when it’s off, to teach parents and kids the correct way to use backpacks to keep your spine – and your overall body – healthy,” she said.
The idea is to teach parents the correct way to use backpacks, but there are some things parents should keep in mind before they grab a backpack off the rack:
- The best backpacks are centered, avoid “sling” backpacks or those that cannot be centered on a child’s body
- A padded back and waist strap can be good additional safety features for backpacks that can take stress off of the person wearing it.
- Find a bag made with lightweight materials, backpacks can get heavy in a hurry — don’t let a child carry more than 10% percent of their body weight.