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"Back" to school: Choosing the best backpack for your child

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A new backpack is one of the many perks of going back to school.

But how do you know if it's the right size for your child?

"I'd say anywhere between ten and fifteen percent of their body weight. So I would not want a book bag that's over that ten or fifteen percent. Then you're looking at more harmful effects that could go on with the spine or pelvis in that area," says Dr. Tyler Rickelman, Chiropractor and Co-Owner of Created for Motion Wellness Center.

Dr. Rickelman recommends a backpack that is not much larger than your child’s torso.

When it comes to carrying heavy textbooks, it’s all about placement.

"Make sure their textbooks or just heavier items in general are closer to their back and closer to them so put those in first. Also multiple pockets within book bags seem to be better just so they can arrange that weight in different areas of the book bag instead of everything being in that one spot," Dr. Rickelman said.

The length of the straps can cause problems too if too loose.

"The bottom of the book bag shouldn't be much below the waist or the beltline. You also want to have both straps on the back. That's a big one. You throw the book bag over one shoulder and it's heavy then you're always correcting for that for that weight difference. That can throw things off in the spine or just muscular changes," said Dr. Rickelman.

So if your child is complaining about their back or has poor posture, the problem may be their backpack.

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