In 1999, an orthopedic surgeon conducted a survey of more than 100 doctors. She found that almost 60% of orthopedists reported seeing child patients with back and shoulder pain because of heavy backpacks. 

Heavy backpacks are causing muscle strain and pain in young children, so with back to school time right around the corner, we’re sharing some backpack safety tips for your children.

Backpack Safety Tips

  • Choose an ergonomic backpack. The backpack should be no wider than your child’s torso and shouldn’t fall further than four inches below their waist. Make sure the backpack has padded, adjustable straps. These features help to distribute the weight across the back without digging into their shoulders. A padded back to the backpack ensures that the contents of the backpack don’t dig into your child’s back. Chest and waist straps help to distribute the weight more evenly. And finally, make sure there’s reflective material on the backpack. This is an important safety measure to take.
  • Pack smartly. If a backpack has several compartments, this helps to distribute the weight more evenly for your child. A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more room in a backpack, the more your child is likely to pack into it. Teach your child what is necessary to bring to school and encourage them to leave the rest at home, in their locker, or in the classroom.
  • Check the fit of the backpack. A child should always use both straps when wearing their backpack and their waist and chest straps should be properly fitted to help distribute the weight. When a child only uses one strap, they’re at higher risk for muscle strain and injury because of the imbalanced weight. Shoulder straps should be fitted so that the backpack is up against their back. A dangling backpack can cause spine misalignment and pain.

Going back to school is an exciting time for children. When you follow these guidelines, you can ensure that your child has a great time in school, without shoulder or back pain.

If You or Your Child is Experiencing Shoulder or Back Pain

If you or your child are experiencing shoulder or back pain, Dr. Hicken can help. Shoulder pain is common and can stem from many different problems. A diagnosis from Dr. Hicken can get you the answers you need and get you on your way to recovery.

Dr. Hicken is experienced in the following specialties related to shoulder pain:

  • Dislocations
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Broken Collar Bones
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Fractures
  • Tendon
  • Trauma Injuries

It’s difficult to enjoy your daily activities when you’re experiencing pain. You don’t have to live with pain when you work with Dr. Hicken towards recovery. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Hicken, give us a call at 435-787-2000.