When your child drops their backpack at the door, does it feel like you’re trying to move 50 pounds of rocks? Does your child struggle to put their backpack on or complain about tingling in their back? Since back-to-school season is officially here, it’s time to talk about some important backpack safety tips.
Backpacks that are overloaded can cause a lot of pain and problems for your children. These issues can lead to back, neck, shoulder pain and poor posture if not corrected.
According to healthychildren.org, backpacks should weigh no more than 10% of a child’s weight. Picking the Correct Backpack
When you’re shopping for your child’s backpack, keep these things in mind:
- Look for the appropriate size. The backpack should not be more than 4 inches below the waist and should not be wider than your child’s torso
- Straps that have padding and are adjustable are recommended to help distribute the weight on their shoulders without being uncomfortable
- A backpack with a padded back will help keep books or other objects from poking into your child’s back
- More than one compartment so weight can be positioned effectively
- Reflective material so your child can be seen better
What about rolling backpacks?
Rolling backpacks should only be used by students who can’t physically carry a backpack. They have the tendency to clutter walkways and can lead to additional injury if someone were to trip over it.
A large backpack may seem like a great idea, but children will tend to overpack if there is more room to fill. Talk with your child about what is necessary to carry so they don’t overpack at school. If it isn’t essential for class or homework – leave it out.
When you’re packing a backpack, start with the heaviest items and put them close to the bottom or center. Then use the other compartments for lighter items.
What Can Be Left at School?
Does everything need to be taken home at night? Talk with your child and their teacher to see what can be left at school or home to prevent unnecessary weight. If there are heavy books and items that can be left in the lockers at school, it’s one less thing to carry.
Nebraska Orthopaedic Center Has Your Back
At NOC, we want to make sure you and your child’s back is protected. If you experience back pain of any kind, give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our licensed physicians. The quicker you solve the problem, the better your back will be.