Australian Chiropractors Association
The Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) understands first hand the importance of nurturing a child’s young spine, and the correct backpack is an important step in reducing the risk of spinal injuries.
The ACA together with Spartan School Supplies and Macquarie University (NSW), joined forces to research and develop the ‘Chiropak’. This durable, functional and comfortable backpack is proven to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with the carriage of heavy loads.
Heavy and ill-fitting backpacks may have a detrimental impact to a young child’s developing spine, as incorrectly worn backpacks may lead to strain and discomfort to the spine. Therefore, it is important that parents look at quality of their child’s backpack.
Signs of poor posture to look out for from an incorrectly worn backpack may include: forward head posture, slouching and uneven hips. Choosing the right type of backpack that will assist with the correct development from primary school and beyond can help alleviate these signs.
An endorsement of the ACA, the ‘Chiropak’ features all the recommended backpack features to help reduce instances of backpack related spinal injuries. These features include; wide padded straps, a mouldable internal spinal board, sternum and waist straps and many more features created to support a child throughout their development.
The ACA have a dedicated annual campaign, ‘Back to School’, designed to educate parents and their children on how to best wear and fit a backpack. The ‘Chiropak’ is a main feature of the campaign and is seen in many chiropractic clinics around the country.
Australian Physiotherapy Association
An overloaded or incorrectly worn backpack can cause shoulder, neck and back pain in children, and become a major source of chronic pain. Stress put on the spine can cause children to lean too far forward and experience distortion of the natural curve, rolling their shoulders and causing a more rounded upper back.
The national chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Paediatric group, Julianne Pegler, recommends a backpack that weighs no more than 10 per cent of a child’s body weight. ‘The backpack must fit the child; don’t buy a big pack to grow into,’ she says. ‘When sitting with the backpack on, the pack should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders.’
Julianne also recommends the following features when choosing a backpack for your child:
- wide shoulder straps that are comfortable and sit well on the shoulder
- waist and chest straps to help transfer some of the load to the hips and pelvis
- a padded back support that allows the backpack to fit ‘snugly’ on the back.
The APA endorses a number of carefully selected products. Endorsement of any product or service only occurs after a set process involving rigorous scrutiny by relevant experts and detailed consideration of the following: The quality of the product, its utility, the best interests of physiotherapy patients and the general public, as well as the ethos of the company involved. As a result of this, you can be assured that APA endorsed products provide excellent quality, value and security.
The APA recommends and endorses the Physiopak® for school-aged children to use as their main method of carrying items to and from school.