Backpack Safety Tips

I can’t believe it is almost the end of August! Which means that back to school shopping is in full swing. As a result, I wanted to share some information on backpack safety to guide you in your back to school shopping. Here are some tips for selecting the best backpack for your child this school year:

  1. How heavy is your child’s backpack?

    • Your child’s backpack should weigh no more than 5% to 10% of their body weight. Carrying more weight will cause your child to lean forward, causing the weight to be distributed on to the back, causing lower back strain and predisposing your child to potential back injuries.
  2. Is your child’s backpack the correct size?

    • The backpack should be just a little bit longer than your child’s torso. The bottom of the backpack should hit between 2 to 4 inches below the child’s waistline. If the backpack is longer it will put additional stress on the shoulders, the child will lean forward which puts more strain on the lower back.
  3. What about the straps?

    • Straps should be wide and padded, so they don’t dig into your child’s shoulders. Your child should wear both straps at all times. Shoulder straps should be adjustable so that the backpack stays close to the body. I also recommend that you choose a backpack with a waist strap.  As a result,  the strap will keep the weight of the backpack close to the body, reducing swings, strain and the risk of injury.  In conclusion, all of these things will take stress off the shoulders, neck and low back.
  4. Bigger isn’t always better.

    • The larger the backpack, the more stuff your child will pack into it and the heavier it will become. It is better to select a smaller backpack to avoid this dilemma.
  5. It’s all about the compartments baby!

    • Choose a backpack with multiple compartments to keep things organized, distribute the weight evenly and position the contents effectively. Place heavier, larger items in the bottom of the pack, while pointy or bulky items should be placed where they will not be resting on your child’s back.

These are just a few tips for choosing a backpack. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us to setup a complimentary backpack assessment through the end of September.