As children gear up to go back to school, choosing the right backpack can set them up for success in more ways than one. Children grow at an astounding rate and muscle and backaches can occur if not cared for properly. Putting too much on our children’s backs can lead them down a long road of back-related issues.
Choosing The Right Backpack
When gauging the size of your child’s backpack, it should be no heavier than 10% of your body. So, if you have a child who is 100 pounds, their backpack should be no more than 10 pounds. A backpack that is too heavy can:
- Reduce blood flow
- Lead to poor posture
- Cause headaches
- Disrupt the natural curve of the middle and lower back
- Cause the spine and muscles to lean to overcompensate
- Place undue stress on the lower back
Tips For Wearing Backpacks
Weight is a critical part when wearing a backpack, however, carrying the backpack the proper way will also minimize the risk of causing damage to the back. If your child follows these safety tips, they can minimize their chance of back pain drastically:
- Squat or kneel to pick up the backpack
- Avoid twisting or bending picking up the backpack
- Lift with the legs (goes for everything)
- Slip it on (use a waist-high table if you can)
- Always wear both straps
- Adjust the straps so the pack fits snugly
- Always use the waist straps
If you are in the market for a new backpack make sure it has all or most of the following criteria:
A single strap backpack creates uneven weight distribution, so when purchasing a backpack, purchase one with two straps to create even weight distribution on the shoulders.
With so many backpacks out there with different characters and designs, it’s hard to choose the right one. With all the fun characters out there, keep in mind that your child’s backpack should be no more than 1-2 inches below the shoulders and no more than 4 inches below the waist.
With wide shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is distributed more evenly and with two padded inches added into the straps the back is better protected.