Parents Beware: Health Officials Say Buy the Right Size Backpack

SIOUX FALLS, SD— As the new school year begins, one thing students need to think about is proper backpack usage.

“When we look at an ideal backpack, we want to go between the small or medium-sized backpack. Just so that can limit the amount of weight that can be carried,” said Dr. Mike Clarke, HealthSource Chiropractic. “When we look at the actual carrying of a backpack is where actual changes need to be made.”

Dr. Clarke says don’t try to be cool and wear one strap, make sure to put on both.

“If we wear one strap at a time that’s going to cause the kid to lean over to one side which can increase the likelihood of strains to the upper, middle and lower back,” said Dr. Clarke.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, about five percent of students will experience back pain this school year.

Dr. Clarke has the following tips to prevent this issue:

  • Small to medium-sized backpacks are recommended to minimize how much is carried
  • Backpacks should hang no more than four inches below child’s waistline
  • Filled, should weigh no more than 10-15 percent of child’s weight
  • Wide, adjustable and with sufficient padding
  • Multiple compartments for positioning content more efficiently
  • Use both straps, hang on mid-level of the back (not too low or too high)

Once, the backpack is sitting correctly, there is one last step.

“Posture, posture, posture, so sitting upright head centered over the shoulders, shoulders down and back, chest tall and proud,” said Dr. Clarke.

Hopefully, these tips will put you back on track for a good school year.

HealthSource Chiropractic is also doing a backpack give away dive through the Salvation Army if you would like to participate in the drive donate/drop-off backpacks to your local HealthSource Chiropractic; their goal is to collect 10,000 backpacks for students in need.

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