It’s been about a month now since the kids went back to school and the effects are starting to show themselves. Some kids may want to sleep in, some may be coming home starving and may need bigger lunches and some kids may even be complaining about their bodies being sore. Setting a bedtime routine and packing bigger/healthier lunches is one thing, but how do you help your child who is coming home sore? Backpacks full of homework can cause back pain in kids, but the good news it that having a sore body due to improper use of a backpack is 100% preventable.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has come up with the following tips to help your child be ready as a part of the Pack it Light, Wear it Right education campaign.
- Choose the right backpack. Brand names aside make sure your child picks a bag made from lightweight material that has two wide, adjustable, padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap, padded back and plenty of pockets. Make sure it fits well and that its size is proportionate to their body.
- Pack it properly. The total weight of the filled pack should be no more than 10 to 15 per cent of your child’s body weight. Pack heaviest objects close to the body, and place bumpy or odd shaped ones on the outside, away from the back.
- Wear it the right way. Carrying a pack over one shoulder may look cool but encourage kids to use both shoulder straps, and adjust the pack so it fits snugly to the body, without dangling to the side. Wearing the waist strap is also encouraged for added stability.
- Lift the backpack carefully. Don’t let your kids just pick up the pack and throw it over their shoulders. Teach them how to properly lift it, which starts by putting the pack on a flat surface, at waist height and slipping on the pack, one shoulder at a time. Teach your kids to lift using the arms and legs and bend at the knees.
By following these simple tips, you can save the life of your child’s back and body. The side effects of not following these steps may include headaches, back, neck and arm pain, bad posture and distortion of the spinal column leading to muscle pain, and even nerve damage. These effects may carry into their teenage years or even adulthood.
As parents we want the best for our children, and having a good back should be one of the simple things we can do for them. So why not take the advice from the Ontario Chiropractic Association and remember to Pack It Light, Wear it Right.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has put together a prize pack for one of my Canadian Mommy Moment readers. Valued at over $75, it contains:
- a backpack made of lightweight material with adjustable, padded shoulder straps and plenty of pockets – just the style recommended as part of the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s Pack It Light, Wear It Right education campaign that teaches parents and kids how to choose, pack and wear backpacks to avoid unnecessary injury.
- cool geometric binder
- pocket highlighters
- apple shaped post-it notes
- combination padlock
- paper refills
- mini Stapler
- 3-in-one pen/highlighter/page flagger
- a combination three-hole punch and ruler