Simple Steps to Prevent Backpack Injuries



Doctors of Chiropractic Offer Backpack Safety Checklist as Children Prepare to go Back-to-School  Vancouver, BC – The British Columbia Chiropractic Association (BCCA) is urging all parents to help children avoid back pain and injuries by using a simple set of guidelines when choosing a backpack for the new school year.  As a doctor, I want to do what’s most important for my patient’s long term health,” said Dr. Crysta Serné, owner, of Vitality Chiropractic and Sports Therapy Clinic.  “Before going out to buy a backpack, it’s helpful to talk to your kids about the type of backpack you want to buy. By following a few simple guidelines, you can help your child choose a backpack they like and avoid serious back problems.”  As many as 55 percent of today’s students are carrying loads far in excess of the recommended 15% of bodyweight, with some students’ packs topping the scales at an alarming 40 pounds. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there has been nearly a 300 percent increase in backpack-related injuries among school children in America since 1996. “This is an important issue for doctors of chiropractic because we focus on wellness and preventative care,” said Dr. Serné. “Our job is to help prevent health problems and that’s why doctors of chiropractic are so concerned about children carrying backpacks that don’t fit well or that are too heavy.”  Backpack Safety Checklist:  When choosing a backpack, look for:

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Lumbar support
  • Waist belt
  • Multiple compartments
  • Correct size 

How to pack:

  • Loaded backpacks should weigh no more then 15% of the child’s body weight
  • Distribute the weight properly; load heavier items closest to the back

How to wear:

  • Take the backpack off when standing for a long time
  • Wear both shoulder straps
  • Tighten straps until snug, but not tight
  • Use the stabilizing waist strap 

Chiropractic is a health care discipline which works to improve the function of the spine and other joints in the body to allow the inherent power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.