During back to school time, you probably purchase a new backpack for your child. Be sure to purchase the right type of backpack for your child to ensure they have good posture, and don't end up in pain or their back out of alignment. See below for some other backpack tips for your child.
The size of your child's backpack matters. It shouldn't exceed the length of your child's torso. If it hangs too low below their torso, it may cause your child to lean too far forward, and could increase the weight on their shoulders, leaving them with a sore back and sore shoulders by the end of every school day. If your child is small, look in the children's section or even at a toy store for a smaller sized backpack.
The width of the straps should be at least 2 inches and should be padded. The extra padding will help keep cushion on their shoulders when lugging around homework, books and other items. Straps that aren't padded can cause pain and discomfort in your child's shoulders and neck. Also be sure your child wears the backpack on both shoulders. One-strap backpacking will leave your child with poor posture, since they will be leaning to one side of the other. It can also leave your child with neck and shoulder pain on just one side, as well as lower back pain. The shoulder straps should be able to be adjusted to allow the backpack to sit in the middle of your child's back, not too low or too high. If the straps aren't padded or adjustable, skip that backpack.
The backing of some backpacks have padding. This helps prevent pain in your back when hauling heavy books and other items to and from school (and during the school day). Look for a backpack that has some padding to help alleviate any back pain.
When packing the backpack, be sure to keep heavier items closest to the body and lighter items on the outside. Use the multiple zippered areas for other items to help distribute the weight evenly.
When choosing a backpack, don't just look for a cool character backpack. It should be properly fitting for your child (not too big and not too small), and should have plenty of padding and be able to be adjusted to fit your child's body. If you notice any postural changes in your child, be sure to contact a chiropractor for help. Also be sure to ask your child throughout the school year if they are experiencing any type of back, neck or shoulder pain associated with their backpack. Working with a local chiropractor like Physical Rehabilitation Centers is a good place to start for treating problems.