Along with homework assignments, school supplies, and a full calendar of activities, back to school means that your kids are back to lugging around a backpack.
For some, this can mean lasting negative effects on the health of your child’s spine, but it doesn’t have to!
Here are some hidden dangers that backpacks can pose and how you can protect your kids from them:
Too Heavy A Load
The extra weight of a backpack can often leave kids slouching or bending forward in order to compensate, which will lead to poor posture and strain in the long run. Many experts advise that a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10-15% of their body weight.
Help them keep their load light by encouraging them to use their locker for storing unnecessary books in between classes, or work out a system where they are only carrying what is absolutely necessary in their backpack and leaving the rest at home or in their classroom(s).
You can also help by selecting a backpack made of lightweight material (avoid leather and opt for a canvas fabric) so that you aren’t adding to the weight they are carrying.
If extreme measures are necessary, you might consider having a second set of textbooks that you keep at home so that you child isn’t lugging their books back and forth.
Out Of Balance
It may look cool to sling their backpack over just one shoulder, but doing so can seriously throw their spine out of balance! Selecting either a bag specifically designed to be worn crossbody, or one with two straps (and ensuring that they are using both straps) will fend off concerns of unequal weight distribution on the body.
Selecting a backpack that has multiple compartments can also help by distributing the load, and keeping the straps tight so that the pack stays closer to their body will limit strain as well.
Nerve Damage From Thin Straps
No matter how heavy the bag, having the weight supported by only thin straps can cause them to dig into your child’s shoulders, causing neck, shoulder, and back pain, along with poor circulation. Save your kids by selecting a bag with two large, padded straps that will distribute the weight of their bag over a larger area, thus protecting their shoulders from unnecessary pain.
With kids spending some of their most crucial developmental years in school, backpack safety is not something to be taken lightly. Never disregard any complaints about tingling or discomfort in their arms or legs, or pain in their neck, shoulders, or back, and take these precautions to keep them safe during the school year.