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Training

Is Your Backpack Making the Grade?

 

Carrying a backpack doesn't have to be a painful experience. Choosing the right kind of backpack, wearing the pack correctly, and adjusting the weight of the backpack can all help students be pain free.  If pain continues to occur after making changes, please contact us to find out how we can help.

 

What are the warning signs that I need to make changes to my backpack?

 

1. Pain in the shoulders, neck, back or knees

 

2. Tingling in the arms

 

3. Red marks left on shoulders from the straps

 

4. Altered posture (lean/slouch) to compensate for weight

 

5. Difficulty putting bag on our taking bag off



What backpack should I choose?

 

When choosing a backpack, use the following guidelines:

 

1. Choose a backpack with wide, padded straps

 

2. The backpack should be lightweight

 

3. Consider a backpack with separate compartments to distribute

 

the load

 

4. Choose a backpack with a padded back to prohibit objects

 

from poking child in the back



What else should I know about wearing a backpack safely?



Wear both straps - Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack.  By wearing two shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed evenly.

Wear the backback over the strongest mid-back muscles -Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back.  It should rest evenly in the middle of the back.  Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms.  Straps should not be loose and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.

Lighten the load - Keep the load at 10-15% of the child's body weight.  Carry items only required for the day.  Place the heaviest items closest to the back.  Consider having 2 sets of books so books do not have to be carried to and from home.

Thank you to the Creative Rehab staff and the American Physical Therapy Association for providing the above information.

Backpacks