Spines are resilient and strong, but there are some sensible steps you can take to ensure your child’s backpack is comfortable to wear and to prevent unnecessary pain. The optimal weight of a schoolbag depends on your child’s strength, activity levels and the distance they need to walk while wearing the backpack.
Is your child's back right for them?
- Choose a lightweight bag, with adjustable padded straps
- The bag should comfortably and snugly follow the contour of your child’s back
- The bag should sit no higher than 3cm above your child’s shoulders
- The bag should not hang out from the shoulders
- Your child should be able to look at the ceiling without hitting their head on the bag
- The bag should not swing from side to side as the child moves. Try to get a bag with waist straps, which will help to transfer the weight of the bag to the hips, and take the strain away from the back and shoulders.
- Make sure the backpack doesn’t sit below the small of the back
- Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps to distribute the weight of the bag evenly. Wearing a bag using only one shoulder strap curves the spine unnaturally, putting stress on the whole body.
Persistent back or shoulder pain?
If your child experiences persistent back or shoulder pain, you may need to seek further advice from a health professional.Find an osteo near you