School is Back in Session!

You’ve visited the schools, met the teachers and bought the supplies. Finally you get chance to sit down for a moment and relax…and before you know it, your middle school child comes home with all of those supplies and more in a back-pack weighing around 40lbs!

I called my friend and asked if her son was carrying bricks too? She laughed and said, “Yes, and the kitchen sink!” Our conversation was lighthearted, but it got me thinking and I just couldn’t kick the picture my young boy lugging his back pack around as if he was in boot-camp. He’s only 11! What kind of long-term damage will this cause? It has to be dangerous to his spine and back…and what will it do to the rest of his joints? I did a bit of searching and found many parents asking the same questions.

It’s ironic, because the engineers at spend countless hours designing and developing hands-free stands and holders for books and iPads, eReaders, etc…to release the strain on one’s neck and joints while craning over their electronic devices. Our largest combatant is tech-neck or text neck that is caused by this strain. If you haven’t heard these terms yet, you soon will.

But, we have yet to invent, the hands free, weightless back-pack…and until a wheeled backpack becomes “cool” we will need your help with some real suggestions. In the meantime, we’ll add this to our list of projects.

Until then, I came across some advice to offer. When choosing a backpack, look for one that is appropriate for the size of your child and has two wide padded shoulder straps, a padded back, and waist strap. Make sure that your child uses both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack distributed across their back. Organize the heavy items lower and toward the center, and remove the unnecessary bricks.

And, with all kidding aside, I think the most important tip I can offer is to pay attention to your child every day. They probably won’t complain about pain unless you notice it.