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Backpack Safety

School is back in session and backpacks are full. Kids are scrambling to get to class and parents are scrambling to make sure that they have all the right tools for a successful school year. Here are a few tips taken from the American Physical Therapy Associations website to help your student have less backpack induced back pain.

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.

Wear the backpack 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 too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the low back.

Lighten the load

Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the child’s bodyweight. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back. Some students have two sets of books so as not to have to carry the heavy books to and from school.

How Can our Doctors at First Choice Physical Therapy Help

A physical therapist can help you choose a proper backpack and fit it specifically to your child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations.
Our Doctors of Physical Therapy can help improve posture problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result from improper backpack use. We can also design individualized fitness programs to help children get strong and stay strong—and carry their own loads!

For any injuries call 850-248-1600. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy can get you backpacking pain free.