If your kids are anything like ours they pack for school each day as if they may need to go on a world tour at any moment. Extra books just in case. Check! Extra clothes just in case? Check! Extra pencils, pens and notepads just in case? Check! But bulky backpacks aren't good for growing kids so we asked Laura from Kids Physio Group (did you know they share our North Van space?) for her top backpack safety tips and ideas: Size: keep your little one's backpacks small and size-appropriate. They need enough room for their notebooks, agendas, lunch and iPads, and laptops (if they're at that stage) but that's all, heavy textbooks can be left at school and their three favourite novels can be left at home! And their pack should sit in the middle of their back, not sag towards their rear.
Weight: when fully loaded your child's backpack should not weight more than 10 – 15% of their body weight. You definitely don't want them to load their pack up with so much stuff that it causes them to tuck their rear under, that's the worst thing for their core.
Padded: when you're buying your little one a new backpack look for one with padded straps to reduce pressure on their chest and shoulders. And be sure to encourage them to use both shoulder straps to distribute the weight of their pack evenly.
And, of course, it’s never too early for kids to start learning to engage their cores and prevent back pain before it starts. Climbing, swinging, sports like our classes and active play all play a part in developing core muscles. As do laughing, talking and singing! So have fun, stay active and enjoy having your kids pack to school.