A: Backpack safety is becoming more and more of a concern, and parents are asking questions on what to do. There is so much information out there, it’s hard to sort what to do and what not to do. Choosing the right backpack for your child is as important as getting his or her spine checked, exercise and nutrition habits. Having a poor backpack can lead to back and posture problems that may not be recognized until later on in life. The habits now will affect them the rest of their life. Here a few simple things to do to help your child.
Step 1: Choose right. Choosing the right size backpack is the most important step to safe backpack use. Tip: The bottom of the pack should hit right at the belt line.
Step 2: Pack right. The maximum weight of the loaded backpack should not exceed 15 percent of your body weight, so pack only what is needed. Tip: If the backpack forces the wearer to move forward to carry, it’s overloaded.
Step 3: Lift right. Use both hands and check the weight of the pack. Lift with the legs. Apply one shoulder strap and then the other. Tip: Don’t sling the backpack onto one shoulder
Step 4: Wear right. Use both shoulder straps; snug, but not too tight. Tip: When the backpack has a waist strap, use it.
Step 5: Have your child’s posture checked by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained to analyze posture and perform scoliosis checks.
Answer provided by Dr. Wesley Nyberg, Waukee Wellness & Chiropractic, 710 Alice’s Road, 978-6661.