Backpack Safety

August 29th, 2013

It’s time for the kiddos to head back to school, so I thought I would give you parents out there a few tips about backpack saftey.

Backpacks can be a primary source of neck, shoulder, and low back pain in school children that is easily manageable with a few easy modifications. Here are a few tips:

Make sure it’s a good fit – Backpacks should never be longer or wider than your child’s torso. The bottom of the pack should also sit no lower than 4 inches below your childs waistline. If the bag sags too low it will put pressure on their shoulders and they will have to lean forward to walk.

Check for wide, padded straps, and use them! – Wider padded straps help distribute the backpacks load evenly which will reduce stress on the spine. Make sure that your child understands that it is important to use both straps to keep the load even as well.

Adjust it – Be sure to get a pack with adjustable straps. When adjusted correctly, the pack should be centered on your child’s back with the bottom no lower than 4 inches below the waistline.

Check the weight – Ideally you child should never be carrying more than 10 percent of their own body weight in the bag. So if your child weighs 50 pounds they should carry no more than 5 pounds. For reference, a child who weighs 80 pounds should be able to carry a load equal to the weight of a gallon of milk.

These simple things can go a long way to making sure that your little guys and gals stay out of pain during the school year. Please pass these tips along to any of your friends or family who are getting ready to send their kids back to school, I’m sure they will appreciate it!