As school approaches, many children are excited to pick out their backpacks. However, choosing the wrong type of backpack can cause back and shoulder pain and even headaches!
Here are 5 backpack safety guidelines, you should follow.
- Check straps and backpack size
When buying a backpack, look at the straps. You want one which has large padded straps to help distribute the weight and if possible one which has a waist or chest strap to provide additional support. Please don't buy an oversized backpack! Get one which is the appropriate size for your child.
- Adjust Straps
A low backpack can cause muscle strain in the shoulders. Please adjust the straps so the bottom of the backpack is no more than 4 inches below the waist. Don't skip this step.
- Wear it right
If you see your child carrying their backpack on one shoulder it will cause a lot of stress on the spine and may affect how the spine grows!
Encourage your child to use both shoulder straps. This helps to distribute the weight evenly and keeps their shoulders straight.
- Pack Smart
Based on the current studies a backpack should weigh no more than 10% of your child's body weight. If your child is bending forward to handle the weight of their backpack, clearly the backpack is too heavy.
Use your child's school timetable to pack only the books they will need for the day. When packing those book put the heaviest ones in first so it's closest to the back.
- Brighter is better
Buy a backpack which is BRIGHT in colour and made of reflective material. This helps to ensure your child is visible when they walk home. During the winter months it gets dark earlier. Drivers find it hard to see people. A bright backpack with reflective material helps your child stay visible and ensures their safety.