How much does your child’s backpack weigh when they head off to school every morning? How about when they start loading up books from their lockers? Do you know? It’s truly okay if you don’t. Most of us don’t even think about the immense weight those books add to a fragile spine; especially since we, ourselves spent our childhood lugging around backpacks full of textbooks. However, new research finds that today’s children and adolescents have backpacks that weigh 20 pounds or more than what children did 15 years ago. Extra weight in the backpack places extra weight to a developing spine! So what can parents do?

  1. Empty their bag! A bag that is over 15% of a child’s body weight places immense pressure on their spine! What do they have stuffed inside there? What is necessary and what have they “just accumulated” over the week? Do they need to carry all their books at one time? Tell your child to stop by their lockers often to reduce the weight.
  2. Check the straps of the backpack. They should be placed over the shoulders, while the bottom of the backpack is two inches above the waist resting on the curvature of the low back. Tell your child the “one strap trend” is really a no-no.
  3. Watch their posture. Make sure your child is not bending over at the waist and slouching while carrying their backpacks.
  4. Make sure you weigh their back pack and keep it within 15% of their body weight. This isn’t a strongman contest; No need to compromise a healthy spine.
  5. If your child is not under regular wellness chiropractic care, check your child’s shoulder and head level at least once a month to determine if they are showing early signs of repetitive stress on their growing spine. This could be anything from bad posture to scoliosis type indications. A Family Wellness Chiropractor who is trained to detect the early signs can perform this exam. Like dentistry, early detection and correction is key to better health.

Call our office today at (219) 661-8680 in our Crown Point, Indiana location to get your children’s spines checked! We look forward to serving you and your families!

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