Backpack Checks & School Kids - Dr Jacey Pryjma

Learn the tips and tricks to working with kids

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Backpack Checks & School Kids

Do you care for schoolkids in your practice? How do you take care of them in the New Year? What do you do to get kids ready for school?

As chiropractors focused on well-being and long-term health, we play an important role in childhood development.

In this video I go through some of the easy ways that you can take care of your school kids at the start of the school year.

School is a very exciting experience for kids, particularly for those kids starting kindergarten.  It means a new uniform, pencil cases and of course a new school bag!

Every February here in Australia a popular topic for the media is back to school – and the kids backpack. The stories always highlight the size, the weight and the long term effects of school kids wearing back backs incorrectly.

As chiropractors we know that most backpacks are not designed to be worn by small children. They are way too big, which means that they hold way too much stuff, and place enormous amounts of stress on growing spines.

Parents often don’t realise that the backpacks their children are wearing are way too big, often weighing a third to a half of the weight of the child!

If this is a problem every year, why doesn’t this change? Because every other child is carrying a backpack – it’s normal and exciting to wear the bags for the first time. The reality is that all bags are too large for Kindy kids but everyone thinks they look cute so nothing changes!

Large or heavy backpacks not only place a huge amount of strain on the lower back, they also create issues of the neck and shoulders simply from the huge amount of tension from the extra weight.

The start of the school year is the perfect time to talk to parents about how a school bag should be fitted & what they need to be looking for when purchasing one for their child.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to talk about school bags on channel 9 here in Australia.

The information we gave out then, is the same that I will share with you today for you to pass on to your families.

When choosing and packing school bags parents need to look for

  1. The bag has great thick straps that are padded.
  2. They should have a clip that goes around the waist
  3. The bag needs to sit as closely to the spine as possible
  4. Pack the heavy things at the back of the bag
  5. Keep to 10% or less of the child weight.

One thing I will always encourage is for parents to carry their children’s bags into school – to save their growing spines. Try to minimise the weight of lunch boxes and the use of a secondary bag for extra things like library books and sports gear to help lighten the load.

Making the right decisions now can really support the children you care for to live happier and healthier life’s.

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