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A Guide to Fitting Your Child’s Backpack

ottawa physiotherapist

From lunches and bottles of water to heavy books and binders, if the weight of your child’s backpack is not fitted and distributed properly it can lead to many issues including spinal misalignments. Here is a guide to fitting your child’s backpack from the physiotherapists Ottawa uses to resolve their pain:

The Fit
Don’t get too caught up on the right princess or super hero on the backpack. Instead the backpack has to fit your child properly. Don’t try to accommodate what your child has to carry either. Instead make sure the backpack is not oversized. The shoulder straps have to be comfortable on the shoulders and their arms have to be able to move normally. The bottom of the backpack should not be at their bum, but instead at the natural contour of the back about two inches above the bum.

Look for lightweight materials, like canvas. This is a small detail but it will actually help reduce the weight. A well-made backpack will have a number of pockets and this will allow for the weight to be more evenly distributed. Large items like text books and binders should be closest to your child’s back.

Comfort requires padding on the back of the backpack to stop text books and binders from digging into your child’s spine while they walk. As well look for contoured, padded shoulder and chest straps that are adjustable. This way it will help balance the weight. Shoulder straps should be two inches in width.

The backpack should always be worn with both straps on the shoulders or your child will experience muscle fatigue and even be at risk of their spin being misaligned.

If the backpack has extra-long strands either clip them or make sure they are tucked in. This can be dangerous especially on school buses or even around garage doors and other machinery. Look for backpacks with a few reflective strips in case your child is out at night.

Nice to Haves
You can look for a waist belt to help keep the weight of the backpack to the legs as well as keep the backpack from sagging. Compression straps on the sides can help keep the backpack balanced and everything inside stabilized.

The physiotherapists Ottawa patients trust, want to see children free from back aches before they even reach high school. Proper fitting will help.


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