Photo courtesy of CSE Newsletter
Rainier-based Children’s School of Excellence (CSE) Health & Fitness Director Jessica Caldwell has a monthly column in the CSE Newsletter and this story from the November 2, 2007 edition caught my eye as being wise counsel for parents of young children:
“All kids carry backpacks to and from school and Im sure youve noticed how heavy
they are! Backpacks filled with books, lunch, water, and whatever else, can be too
heavy and lead to back aches and sore necks.
My father in-law, Dr. Fred Loertscher, chiropractor and inspiration, wont even let my
four year old wear one. He explained to me that young bodies shouldnt have such a
huge load placed on their developing spinal columns.
I investigated this important health issue and found some healthy backpack tips from
Healthy Computing Kids.
1. Backpacks should have padded straps, the wider the better to distribute the load.
2. Encourage your child to wear both straps.
3. Teach your child to wear a backpack with a waist belt to relieve stress on the low
4. Place the backpack up to the mid or upper back instead of wearing it low on the
lumbar region of the spine.
5. Avoid overpacking. Consider buying two sets of books; One to keep at school
and the other for home. Then donate the 2nd set at the end of the year.
6. Limit the weight of the backpack to 10-15% of your childs body weight.
7. Consider a backpack on wheels!”
Jessica added this correction in a recent CSE Newsletter:
“Correction from the Healthy Tip regarding Backpack Safety: A recent Australian study
found that backpacks should be centered at the waist or hip level to allow the pelvis
to carry the load rather than the neck and shoulders. So do not carry the backpack
high on your back.”