Backpack safety for kids
Kids are heading back to school along the Coast and with that comes carrying heavy backpacks filled with school supplies and textbooks.
Improper backpack use can cause long term injuries to children. When worn incorrectly, they can strain muscles and cause back pains.
Dr. Brad DeWitt, a chiropractor at DeWitt Chiropractic in Gulfport, shared tips on how to properly wear a backpack and what type of backpacks to look for. DeWitt recommends backpacks that have chest straps and padded shoulders to help maintain proper spine health.
DeWitt also recommends that the backpack isn’t hanging below the waist. “You want to make sure your kids are wearing the backpacks with the straps on both shoulders to help stabilize the spine. Of course, you want the backpack real close to the spine. If I was to reach behind, I should be able to grab the loop back here so you want the straps tight but you also want them comfortable, you don’t want it tight on them. You want the weight of the backpacks to be about 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, anything above that can cause muscle spasms or curvatures of the spine that we don’t need or want as they get older it can cause more problems.”
Dr. DeWitt says if you experience back pains, you should see a medical professional and also try exercises like wall angels to help alleviate some symptoms.