Backpack is a popular choice of school bag for children. Not only is it convenient to carry, it also comes in different sizes, colors, and designs. As a parent, you should not only be concerned about the price and preference of your child when it comes to choosing a backpack for school. More importantly, you should also observe how he is carrying it and whether or not it is already causing back pain.
Here are 10 ways on how to maintain backpack safety for children.
- Ensure that your child’s backpack is not too heavy for him. An ideal backpack weight is not more than 5-10% of his body weight. If the bag is too heavy, chances are, he will have to ben forward so that it’s his back that will carry the weight and not his shoulder.
- Hang the backpack from the shoulders to the back with the bag hanging not more than 4 inches below the waist. Again, if the bag is too low, your child will tend to bend forward.
- Choose a backpack with many compartments so you can organize your child’s books and things properly. Make sure to balance the weight among all sides of the bag.
- Choose the right size for your child. Big bags are usually heavy, while small bags may not be able to accommodate all your child’s belonging. With a small backpack, your child may end up carrying more than 1 bag which may add weight to his arms, shoulder, and back.
- Make sure that your child is carrying his backpack using two straps to balance the weight between both shoulders. If he does it with one strap only, the weight will be carried by one shoulder only and may lead to low back pain, neck pain, and muscle spasms.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded straps to add comfort to the shoulder. Additionally, make sure that it comes with an adjustment mechanism, and adjust the straps to perfectly fit your child’s body.
- Every time your child leaves for school in the morning, check if the backpack is too heavy for him. If it is, discuss options to your child such as leaving some books in school or leave unnecessary stuff at home.
- As you have already calculated the weight of your child’s backpack and helped him organize his things, instruct him not to let anyone carry his bag, the same way he should not be carrying someone else’s backpack (which may be a lot heavier than his). This is also to protect other children from acquiring back pain.
Children’s backpacks appear to be of little concern to many parents. What they don’t know is that it can cause serious back and neck injury to them. Let’s all be responsible and keep a close eye on our children.