The type of backpack and the way your child carries it, is more important than you think. Below are some tips and tricks to ensure backpack safety for back to school.
- Pack it: Distribute weight in different compartments; heavier items should go closer to the back and lighter items should go in the front. Backpacks should be no more than 10% of your child’s weight to prevent falls and spinal damage.
- Put it on: Teach your child to pick up the backpack by bending and lifting in the knees instead of the waist.
- Adjust & Carry: Always use both shoulder straps, adjust the sternum strap, and secure the hip belt. The backpack should rest snugly against the back.
Watch for warning signs that the backpack is too heavy, including:
- Difficulty when putting on or taking off the backpack
- Pain when wearing the backpack
- Tingling or numbness in the arms or legs
- Red strap marks over the anterior part of the shoulders
- Any change in side-to-side posture while wearing the backpack
Adjust the shoulder and waist straps so that the pack fits comfortably. To ensure a proper fit, make sure the backpack does not extend past your child’s shoulders or below the top of the hip bones.
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