Back to School – Backpack Dos and Don’ts
Backpacks are an essential part of going back to school and it seems like kids are being weighed down with more books and more homework, so backpacks are becoming more and more important, but overloaded backpacks can cause injuries, so as the kids head to class, here are a few backpack dos and don'ts.
Your child has to fit books, notebooks, folders, pens, pencils and whatever else they have to cart to class every day and backpacks can get very heavy very quickly, so don't allow your child to sling the backpack over one shoulder. It may seem easier, but it can be dangerous and cause your child to lean to one side. Do make sure they use both of the shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight and do make sure it's clear that they say something if they're experiencing back, neck, shoulder pain or numbness from carrying their backpack.
Do make sure your child is able to stand up straight when the backpack is on. If they hunch or lean to one side, it may be too heavy so if your child is able, try and limit the weight in the backpack. Doctors recommend children carry no more than ten to 15 percent of their own body weight. If it's seemingly impossible to make the backpack any lighter, see if it's possible to have your child just take what they need to class and leave the backpack in their locker until it's time to pack it in at the end of the day.
If you haven't bought a backpack yet, here are a few buying guidelines when you're on the hunt:
1. Pick one that's lightweight. If you buy one that's a heavy material, it's just going to add to the weight that they're carting around on their backs.
2. Try one with wheels. Kids are getting a lot of homework which means a lot of books, so try a backpack with wheels. It's kind of like rolling duffel backs that people bring on airplanes, but with flair like Hello Kitty.
3. Look for one with compartments. The more compartmentalized it is, the more evenly the weight can be distributed.