Each time a child leaves for school, there it is: their backpack — usually far heavier than it should be, especially during the younger years when spine and bones have not finished growing.
The trap is that the backpack becomes invisible. But the damage an incorrectly packed, fitted or carried one can cause may be considerable, even more so when it is too heavy.
Kids are resilient and may be dismissive about your concern. They may also be inclined to sling their backpack over the shoulder, unaware of the long-term consequences that may arise due to carrying an uneven load. For a large number of children though, the pain and fatigue has already set in:
‘According to an international study, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1%*’.
The damage an incorrectly packed, fitted or carried backpack can cause may be considerable, even more so when it is too heavy.
Please don’t hesitate to ask for a backpack check, and a reminder if your kids aren’t getting checked then it may be something you should consider.
It has been said that one adjustment in a child is worth 50 in an adult. Prevention makes much more sense than waiting!
* Negrini, S., & Carabalona, R. (2002). Backpacks on! Schoolchildren’s Perceptions of Load, Associations with Back Pain and Factors Determining the Load. Spine , 27(2), 187-195.