Backpacks are a big point of emphasis headed into a new school year as experts stress finding the right size, fit, and controlling how much weight being carried can have an impact on long term back problems in kids.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
The countdown to a new school year continues with back-to-school shopping for parents and kids over the next couple of weeks.
One item that's a point of emphasis is finding the right backpack for kids, but not for the design or logo.
Experts stress finding a bag with padding, along with adjusting to the right size and fitting so it wont strain the back or spine.
Doctor Ryan Miller at Vance Chiropractic says years of carrying too much weight in the wrong position can add up.
"What we're feeling as adults sometimes is a direct result of something that's happened in the past," Miller said. "You think about how long you're in school for and how long you have books and backpacks for, that reoccurring stress can definitely add stress to the spine over the years and lead to problems either currently or down the road."
Miller explains once you do have the right fitting gear, it's equally important to wear it correctly.
"There's different types of backpacks. There's single shoulder type backpacks, which are probably the worst ones to get because you want to distribute the weight most evenly as possible," Miller said. "If you have one of the double arm sling backpacks, make sure you're putting it on both shoulders, not just hanging it on one."
Some medical experts say you should keep the total pounds to 10 to 20 percent of a child's body weight, even for bags that come with rolling wheels.