Getting the best out of a backpack
Excessive and uneven distribution of load can lead to poor posture and pain, especially in the back and shoulders, says Debra Grech, Physiotherapist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.
Here are some tips on choosing the correct pack for your child.
* Backpacks with wide, contoured shoulder straps are best. Avoid those with narrow webbed straps.
* A correctly fitted pack should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders when they re sitting down.
* The waist and chest straps should be done up as this helps distribute the weight of the backpack centrally to the hips and pelvis.
* Packs with padded back-support are usually easier to fit and more comfortable to wear especially if carrying the pack for significant distances or periods of time.
* Wearing a well-fitted, moderately loaded backpack is not detrimental to a child’s growth or wellbeing.
For further information or advice see information from the Australian Physiotherapy Association or speak to your child’s doctor or physiotherapist.
This article by the Australian Physiotherapy Association provides more information.