July 2020 Newsletter: Are your kids wearing their backpacks correctly?


A recent survey by Land’s End Direct Merchants found that more than 96 percent of children ages 8 to 12 will carry a backpack to school this year. Nearly 1/3 of those children will wear their bags improperly. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Commission, in 2013, approximately 22,200 strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures from backpacks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, physicians’ offices, and clinics. There are four steps for safer backpack use; first, choose the right pack, pack their bag correctly, lift the bag correctly, and wear it properly. 

The most crucial step to helping protect your child’s spine is choosing the right backpack. We all want our kids to like the things we purchase them but make sure their backpack decision is not only focused on looks. The pack should have padded straps, a lumbar strap, and an angled design to keep it above their waist. Correctly packing the bag is critical for their backs; their packs should never weigh more than ten percent of their body weight. Remember no matter the weight we should be lifting with our legs never our back, and never sling the pack onto one shoulder. Wearing the pack correctly is vital. Encourage your children to use both straps when carrying the pack and to make sure that it is high and tight to their back.

BEFORE: In the first picture, notice the chin tuck and forward shoulder roll. AFTER: The second picture shows the backpack adjusted to a better position. His arms are down by his side and his shoulders are not rolled forward as far.

Are You Avoiding “Pack Back”?

Conditions arising from prolonged and/or repetitious use of backpacks or other devices made for carrying material belongings Include but are not limited to:

  • Low Back pain and stiffness
  • Hip and/or pain and/or numbness
  • Sciatica
  • Neck and upper back pain and stiffness
  • Shoulder and/or arm pain and/or numbness
  • Headaches
  • Recurring muscles tension
  • Fatigue

Need to be fitted for your backpack? Call us today to schedule your fitting with Dr. Donkin!