Backpack Safety For Children



An Open Letter To All Parents,

We are seeing arthritis and other forms of bone, joint and muscle deterioration form earlier in life.  By the time a person chooses to see a health professional who deals with these types of issues, it’s usually later on in life. Isn’t it far better to act in accordance with prevention rather than waiting until crisis occurs and then try to deal with a problem? Well, I think so and I’d like to share some critical information and tips with you that will make a major impact on your child’s life and health both today and down the road. 

   Today’s children are being asked to carry so many books and supplies, both to and from school, and that has become a problem.  If not dealt with correctly, children can become highly susceptible to spinal and muscle changes such as scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, a rotated hip as well as acute and chronic pain!  Once formed and set into motion, these postural changes create long lasting effects on the nervous system and development of a child.  Having been trained in “Backpack Safety”, I’d like to help you to take better care of your children.

  Let’s take a preventive step and minimize the stress on school kids in regard to their backpack:

1-    The backpack must be size appropriate to the child; the top of the backpack should come to the mid-shoulder blade region and not go below the waistline. 

2-    There should be 2 thick straps which are preferably padded as well as a strap for      around the waist for stability.

3-    The heavier books in the backpack should be placed closer towards the spinal column, rather than on the outer ends.

4-     Children should only carry what is necessary.

5-    The weight of the loaded backpack should not exceed 15% of the child’s bodyweight.

6-    Do not allow your child to carry a messenger style backpack, where there is one shoulder harness, which goes across the front of the body.  The key is to distribute the weight properly which will help to minimize overall body stress.

Whatever stresses are placed upon children today, can have a significant impact on their growth patterns as well as influence the quality of their adulthood.  If you are not certain about the backpack you may have chosen for your child or need more appropriate options, you are most welcome to bring them to my office to be checked for proper size and fit. There is absolutely no charge for this service as it’s one of the ways I give back to the community.

Yours in the interest of better health and well being,

    Dr. Bryan C. Siegel

   "Eliminating Back Pain At It's Core"