A backpack is likely to be one of the first back-to-school accessories you’ll buy for your child. But have you ever thought about the safety concerns of backpacks? Many parents don’t really think about this aspect of backpacks. After all, the backpack they chose had the coolest colors and the kids just want the coolest backpacks so we go with it. I know I’m guilty of that myself, especially when there was a meltdown involved.
But, did you know that incorrect use of backpacks can lead to misalignment problems, back pains and aches and pains as you get older. We didn’t either, until recently our chiropractor told us all about the damage and how to make sure we are shopping for the safest back pack not the coolest.
The safety issues of backpacks go beyond the realm of correct posture and muscle strain. Here are some things to consider when you go out to buy your child’s backpack this year.
She recommends that backpack straps should be reinforced with wire which helps protect them against being cut or torn. The straps should be wide, as well, so the weight in the backpack is evenly carried. If you can find padded wide straps that is ideal.
Balance and Weight
Keep from carrying lots of things in your backpack and keep it as light as possible. You (or your kids) could fall down the stairs accidentally knock over kids and then you have multiple injures on your hands. Make sure you have pockets as well for their treasures along the way. When you’re trying on the backpack, your child should hardly feel it on his or her shoulders when it’s empty. Experts recommend that students carry no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight on their backs.
Try to choose the smallest backpack that is still practical and meets your child’s needs. A backpack shouldn’t grow with your child just make sure they fit comfortably for the new school year.
Injury to Others
Backpacks can cause injury to students who aren’t even wearing them. Backpacks with lots of loose straps, big zippers, and other dangling accessories can hit others when your child takes his or her backpack on and off. If a backpack is heavy and bulky, it’s hard for a student to know just where it is, making it more likely for the backpack to hit others as your child moves through a crowd.
Wear It Correctly
She also said that backpacks should be worn on both shoulders, even if kids think it looks “cooler” to wear it on one shoulder. So, when choosing a backpack, choose one that fits easily over both shoulders and is easy for your child to get on and off both arms.