How to choose the right backpack for your child?

Backpack Safety

As summer vacation comes to an end and the new school year begins, backpacks can become a heavy health risk to our kids. While alone they may not cause major problems, overloading and improper carrying of a backpack can lead to changes in posture resulting in headaches, neck, shoulder and lower back pain.

Here are warning signs to help you determine if the pack is too heavy, tips on how to watch for any developing problems and also tips for buying a new bag.

Warning Signs a Backpack is Too Heavy

  • Change in posture when wearing the backpack.
  • Arching of the shoulders, neck or back
  • Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack.
  • Pain — especially when wearing the backpack in the neck, shoulders and lower back or headaches.
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs
  • Red marks and creases on the shoulders.

Choosing a Backpack 

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  • Size: The size of the backpack should match the size of the child.
  • Padding: Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. A padded back prevents sharp objects from digging into your child’s back and possibly altering his or her posture.
  • Two straps: A backpack with only one shoulder strap that goes around the neck does not distribute weight evenly. Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Pack light: Backpacks should never weigh more than 10% of a child’s weight. For example, a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn’t carry a backpack heavier than 10 pounds, and a 50-pound child shouldn’t carry more than 5 pounds. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders.
  • Adjustable straps: The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • Waist strap: A waist strap takes even more weight off the shoulders.
  • Tighten straps: Tighten the straps until the pack is close to your child’s body. The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • Lightweight: Make sure that the backpack itself doesn’t add too much weight to the load.
  • Bending: Bend down by bending both knees. Teach your child to bend at the knees instead of the waist while wearing or picking up a heavy backpack.
  • Rolling backpacks: Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.

If you have any questions on choosing the right backpack for your child, feel free to ask the Doctors at Leahy Chiropractic in Overland Park at your next visit.


Never been to a Chiropractor before?

Here are some of the most common questions that many people have before their first visit to our office:

  • What is Chiropractic?  
    • Chiropractic care involves the repositioning of the spine to reduce pressure to the delicate spinal cord and nerves. Nerves are the messaging system of the body and interference to this system results in a poorly functioning body and subsequent pain, illness, and disease. Chiropractors perform an adjustment to the vertebrae which helps the joint move more appropriately and guides the spine into proper alignment
  • Is it safe? 
    •  Yes! Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. The British Medical journal reported on a research study for low back pain that chiropractic is one of the safest forms of treatment available. Adjustments are non-invasive which means the body’s response to it is more predictable than its reactions to drug treatments or surgical condition
  • I’ve heard once you go to a chiropractor you will always have to come back.  
    • Like most everything, that depends. Going to a chiropractor is much like exercising at a gym or eating a healthy diet: As long as you keep it up, you’ll reap the benefits. It’s like going to the dentist. No one would doubt that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true for chiropractic care. It can help you feel better, move easier, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Of course you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you simply go for a short time, but to truly enjoy the real benefits of chiropractic care, you should make it a continuing part of your lifestyle
  • What types of conditions do Chiropractors treat?
    Chiropractic, nervous system, back pain, neck pain, joint pain, spine, healthy,

    • Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions.  DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders involving the muscles, ligaments and joints.  These conditions impact the nervous system, which can cause pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury.  For example, the nerves from your lower back also go to your gut.  A lot of times, if someone is suffering from constipation, having the lower back adjusted often will help relieve their symptoms. The benefits of chiropractic care extends to general health issues since our body structure and posture affects our overall function. Every part of your body has a nerve component. Here is a great picture showing how each part is innervated and types of symptoms Chiropractors can treat.

What is a herniated disc? Can chiropractic help?


What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine has 24 individual bones called vertebra. Between each one of these bones there are cushioning pads called discs that act like shock absorbers.

There are many different terms that are used to describe a herniated disc such as slipped disc or ruptured disc. They all mean relatively the same thing, the displacement of disc material outside of where it normally should be. The most common area for disc herniation to occur is in the lower back but it can also occur in the neck and mid-back as well.

Surprisingly, disc herniation is more common than you may think and often produce no symptoms at all so people may not even know they have one. Some herniated discs can be painful, especially if they are putting pressure on a nerve around it.

The most common signs and symptoms of a lumbar (lower back) herniated disc are:

  • Leg pain that can occur with or without low back pain
  • Numbness, weakness or tingling in the leg
  • Low back or buttock pain

The most common signs and symptoms of a cervical (neck) herniated disc are:

  • Numbness or tingling down the arm without or without neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm weakness or loss of grip strength

Can we help?

Absolutely! We can help figure out WHY the disc herniation happened in the first place and then correct it as well as improve the symptoms. If the spine is not aligned correctly it causes increased stress and strain on the vertebra and discs which can result in a disc herniation. Many chiropractors are good at relieving symptoms of disc herniation and at Leahy Chiropractic, not only is it is our goal to relieve the symptoms but also help you regain proper spinal alignment and posture making your spine more strong and stable for the future.

Recipe For Wellness

Home Remedies

-Antacid Alternatives
-Sunburn Relief
-Dental Options
-Health Options

Family Time

-Belly Breaths
-Lullabies and more
-Calming Repetition

Wellness at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

-Roasted Red Pepper and Kale Frittata
-Avocado and Black Bean Tacos
-Banana-Apple Buckwheat Muffins
-Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Wellness at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

-White Turkey Chili
-Roasted Vegetable Wraps

Wellness Family Newsletter: The Meaning of Giving

The Meaning Of Giving:

Sometimes it seems with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we forget the purpose: that it’s about family and fellowship. We get so wrapped up in, well, the wrapping, that we forget there’s more to it than giving and receiving gifts.

Check out our Wellness Family Newsletter on The Meaning of Giving!

Wellness Family Newsletter: The Meaning of Giving


Recipe for Wellness

It’s not uncommon to make a choice to eat healthier and succeed with the three major meals of the day but struggle when it comes to snacking.  With a few minor changes in your habits, you can snack healthy!

Click the link below for some healthy snacking options, and some other fun fall recipes!

Wellness at Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Healthy Snacking

Wellness at Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Recipes

Recipe for Wellness: Home Remedies

Issues with digestion are extremely common: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or simply upset stomachs are, for the most part, routine. The problem arises when an over-the-counter is the go-to response. Any antacid or bismuth product (brand name: Pepto-Bismol) will begin to affect the acid production in the stomach. Just as too much acid can create digestive issues, too little may also have a detrimental effect. Consider reaching for fresh herbs before an over-the-counter product.

Here is some home remedies to help with any digestive issue.

Home Remedies