We are nearing the back-to-school season, and kids will be loading up their new backpacks with all of their important school supplies. Backpacks might seem harmless enough, but many do not appreciate the risks associated with these school-day accessories.
Lately, many doctors and therapists are noticing that children are developing back problems from backpacks that are too heavy for the child’s size. It’s recommended that backpacks should weigh less than 15% of your child’s weight to be on reduce the chance ot injury or strain. Making sure that your children wear their backpacks properly can help prevent pain and posture problems.
Here are some backpack safety tips to help your children wear their backpacks safely and correctly, and avoid overpacking this school year.
Start with a lightweight backpack – simple design and made of a lightweight but durable material; frames add unnecessary weight so avoid those.
Make sure the shoulder straps are wide and padded – comfortable straps provide support and prevent the straps from becoming too tight. Your child’s straps should be snug, but not so tight that they cause discomfort.
Look for a backpack with a waist strap for larger students carrying heavier loads – the waist strap holds the contents closer to your child’s back and supports some of the weight, which can help him or her maintain balance.
Both straps should be worn at all times – wearing both straps distributes the weight more evenly and doesn’t force your child to lean to one side, which can cause pain in the neck, back, or shoulders.
If your child has complained of back pain or discomfort from carrying their backpack, follow these tips to reduce the load and make it easier to carry his or her backpack correctly. Backpacks with wheels are also an option for children experiencing discomfort. If pain persists, it is recommended you follow up with your child’s doctor.
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