How Backpacks are Hurting Your Child’s Back

How to wear a backpack

Backpacks are a wonderful invention. They let you carry many items while keeping your hands free to do other things. When worn correctly, the weight in a backpack is evenly distributed across the body, and shoulder and neck injuries are less common than if someone carried a briefcase or purse.

However, if a backpack is too heavy or worn incorrectly, they can strain muscles and joints and your child may experience serious back pain.

WebMD has this to say: “Most students said they hurt, at least a bit, from their backpacks; 64% reported having back pain at some time. Two of every five children said they felt pain while wearing their backpacks. In students reporting pain, about 12% said it was ‘not bad,’ while almost 90% said their back pain was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad.’”

Here are some tips on saving your child’s back:

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 15 to 20 percent of their body weight, or the backpack will cause your child to begin bending forward, causing harmful stress on their back.
  • When packing the backpack, make sure pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Tell your child to use both shoulder straps and not just one. If the pack is slung over just one shoulder, this will eventually cause neck and muscle spasms, as well as low back pain.
  • Padded shoulder straps are very important to keep the strap from digging into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder strap should be adjustable so it can be adjusted to fit your child’s back. A pack that is too loose and hangs low on the back (below the waist) will cause misalignment and pain.
  • Check the contents of the backpack. Is everything in it necessary? If so and it’s too heavy, consider a rolling backpack instead.

Improper backpack use can also lead to poor posture. Girls and younger kids may be especially at risk for backpack-related injuries because they’re smaller and may carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight.

You may need to adjust the backpack and/or reduce how much they carry if they:

  • struggle to get the backpack on or off
  • lean forward to carry the backpack
  • have back pain

Try your child’s backpack on and walk around for 10 to 15 minutes. If you think it’s too heavy or you begin to feel a pull or strain in your back, or notice you’re beginning to lean forward to offset the weight, then you can bet it’s way too heavy for your child.

If your child has back pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs, talk to your doctor or chiropractor right away.

Save your child’s back – inspect their backpacks on a regular basis … it probably needs to be cleaned out anyway, because you know they never do it!

Why I Smile … And Why You Should, Too

Have you ever been anywhere and see someone walking around doing whatever it is they’re doing with a smile on their face? I mean, who has a perpetual smile on their face while grocery shopping?

Seeing this person does one of two things to you:

  1. You begin smiling because smiles are contagious or,
  2. You think they’re really odd and go about your business.

Personally, I hope it puts a smile on your face.

Anyone who knows me knows I smile all the time and I speak to strangers. When I’m anywhere in the outside world, if we make eye contact, you’ll always get a smile and a “good morning!” (or whatever time of day it is). Even if we come close and don’t make eye contact, you’ll get the same greeting from me.

Why do I do this?

Part is because this is who I am. Overall, I’m a happy person. I know what it’s like to have troubles (we all do). A smile or a kind word can bring hope … a shining light to a dark situation. And if I can do that for anyone, I’m all in!

The other reason is I’m a saved child of Christ and He has given me His mercy and grace. I have hope. If you’ve never heard the MercyMe song Grace Got You, you need to. Puts a smile on my face every time! I love hearing it in the morning because it really sets the tone for the day … in fact, it betters my attitude and my day no matter what the time!

Nope! Don’t do it!

Don’t let your situation or circumstances define you (because it doesn’t despite what you may think). Don’t say there’s no hope, because there is. Life changes all the time and frequently throws curve balls … sometimes right at your head. Choosing joy and happiness over misery is a choice … YOUR choice.

Now, I don’t know your situation and probably have never been in your shoes. But I do have my own set of problems. And I definitely love the choice I make every day because it makes me a better me.

If you decide to choose misery (again, it’s your choice), please find a close friend to talk to. Get help. Because something is wrong. If I see you, I’m gonna smile at you … and quietly say a prayer for you. Because that’s just who I am.

“Have you ever met those that
Keep hoping when it’s hopeless
It’s like they’ve figured out what the rest haven’t yet.”
Grace Got You

Parenting is hard …

… especially when you do it right. And doing it “right” is how we get great kids to be great adults.

I’m not saying to be perfect and not mess up … that’s completely impossible. It’s a given fact we all mess us. But you must try. This can be difficult since there’s no Owner’s Manual.

You have a limited amount of time before your son or daughter grows up. And you already know this, because you’ve probably already said it …

“They grow up so fast.”

The fact is, your kids will grow up a lot faster than you ever imagined.

Think about it …

From birth to when they’re off to college is about age 18, which is about 936 weeks. So basically, from birth to when they move out of the house is less than 1,000 weeks. When you put it into perspective, that’s not a lot of time.

I’m not trying to make you sad. That’s just the way it is.

Do I have children? Yes. Do I have all the answers? No. But I try to do my best every day. Do I mess up? You betcha! But in the end, they’re safe, healthy, and we love each other very much.

What you do when they’re little to when they leave the nest is up to you. But keep in mind, what you do and how you raise them will influence them for the rest of their lives. So do your best.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be an influencer, because every day time is running out.

No pressure.