As a parent, ensuring that your child's overall health is in the best possible state is important. Many parents don't realize this, but the backpack that they choose for their child could be limiting them physically because of the pressure it puts on the back. Many backpacks cause problems with the spine, which is why it's important to know what kind of backpack is appropriate for your child to be using. Here are four tips for picking out the right backpack:

  1. Always Pick Two Straps: Shoulder bags should never be used for school backpacks. Many kids have to carry books, notebooks, and other heavy items. When they use a shoulder bag, it causes the weight to be distributed unevenly, which is going to put strain on the spine. Two straps are going to ensure the weight is distributed evenly, which is also going to make it easier for your child to carry around all day while at school. 
  2. Choose Padded Shoulders: Many backpacks will have padded shoulder straps that are important to have when carrying heavy items. These padded shoulder straps are going to help ease the strain on the shoulders caused by the weight in the backpack. When there is too much strain on the shoulders, it can cause your child to want to hunch when wearing their backpack, which is terrible for spinal health. 
  3. Check for Lots of Storage: Instead of having one or two compartments for your child to place their books, pencils, rulers, and other school items, there should be multiple compartments that are going to help distribute the weight. If the weight is all in one compartment, this puts strain on one area of the back only instead of allowing the weight to be carried with the strength of your child's entire back.
  4. Don't Overfill: A child should never carry any more than 15% of their weight. Talk to your child about what items are necessary to bring to school every day. If there are things to be left out, then they should be left out. This even includes their lunchbox. Instead of having their lunchbox in their backpack, have them carry it instead. 

When you consider these four tips, you can be sure that you are choosing a backpack that is going to help maintain the health of your child's spine. If your child is insistent on a certain style of backpack that doesn't meet these standards, talk to them about the dangers this can lead to in the long run. Also, keep in mind that children can visit a chiropractor for regular adjustments, which is definitely something to consider for the benefit of your child's spinal health. Contact a center like University Physical Medicine to learn more.