It’s that time of year again – back to school! As parents make a list of supplies for their children, it’s important to also consider backpack safety. It’s something not to be taken lightly, as too heavy a backpack could injure your son or daughter’s back, neck, or shoulders, lead to poor posture, or increase the risk of falling over.
- When choosing a backpack, it should be lightweight, preferably canvas material over leather, not exceeding 10 to 15% of the child’s body weight, including the weight of everything inside
- For example: An 80 lb. child should not have a backpack weighing more than 8 to 12 pounds.
- The backpack should not be wider than the child’s torso and shouldn’t sit more than 4 inches below the waistline.
- Padded shoulder straps should prevent discomfort or injury to the shoulders, including digging into the skin.
- Additional chest and shoulder straps will help distribute the weight more evenly, especially for younger children.
- A reflective coating on the backpack makes the child more visible to motorists as they’re walking to or from school.
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