Children often use backpacks to carry school supplies to and from school. If used properly, backpacks are designed to distribute weight evenly without strain to neck, shoulder or back muscles.
- Check frequently that your child is not carrying more than 15% of his or her body weight in the backpack.
- Encourage your child to bring only necessary books and materials home each night.
- Ask your child if he or she can store items in a locker rather than the backpack.
- Educate your child about proper backpack wear. Keep straps on both shoulders and use the waist strap. Adjust straps to fit snugly.
- Help your child understand how to distribute the weight properly. Put the heaviest items low and near the center of the back.
Q: How do I choose the right backpack for my child?
- Lightweight. A full backpack should not exceed 15% of your child’s weight.
- Shoulder straps. Look for wide and well-padded straps for comfort and even distribution of weight.
- Material. Pick a durable, sturdy material to prevent sharp objects from poking through.
- Waist belt. This helps keep the weight close the body.
- Multiple compartments. These distribute the weight evenly.