• Choosing the right backpack for your kids

    Every year in August, as children prepare to return to school, parents are reminded of the importance of choosing a proper backpack for their kids.

    Backpacks can have an important health impact on the growing and developing bodies of children. More so, a heavy or poorly fitted backpack can affect a child’s musculoskeletal (MSK) health—both today and in the future.

    It is not uncommon to see children trotting along to school, back hunched forward to balance a heavy or over-sized bag. Unfortunately, carrying such heavy loads can cause long-term problems to a child’s MSK system, and result in back pain—among other things. For example, children may condition their bodies to lean forward, arch their backs, and lean to one side. Creep can settle in the spine, and muscle can become fatigued and strained. This type of physical stress can also alter the posture and gait of children.









    Help your child choose the correct backpack which will fit their body and is adjustable as they grow. Follow these tips:

    The backpack should be between 10 to 15 percent of the body weight of the child.

    The weight of the bag should be evenly distributed across the back. The more spread out the load is, the less strain there is on the body.

    Make sure the child wears both shoulder straps. Wearing a backpack over just one shoulder can cause leaning to one side, which could curve the spine over time.

    The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.

    Adjust shoulder straps so the backpack fits closely to the upper part of the body. The further a backpack is away from the body, the more difficult it is to achieve proper balance.

    The backpack should never hang more than 10 centimeters below the waistline.

    A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning its contents most effectively.