Don’t Let Backpacks Be a Pain: 3 Safety Tips
Backpacks are a school necessity. Filled with books, binders, pens and pencils, notebooks, and any other school supplies on the list for the year, it’s the essential way for kids to transport everything they need from class to class throughout the day. Most are built to be extremely durable, which is great, but the heavy-duty nature of a book bag can lead to stuffing it full of items. Packing too heavily and wearing it inappropriately can be a big problem, causing back, shoulder and neck pain, as well as poor posture. As your children head back to school, make sure they stay safe with these backpack safety tips.
Buy the Right Backpack
Backpack safety begins with purchasing the right one. When looking for the best option, make sure that the backpack
- Isn’t wider or longer than your child’s torso
- Doesn’t fall more than 4 inches below the waist
- Has padded shoulder straps and a padded back
- Is ergonomically designed
- Has more than one compartment
- Is reflective
- Has belts around the chest and hips
These features will better distribute the weight and ensure the best possible posture, reducing the risk of pain or injury.
It might seem like a good idea to get the largest possible backpack with the most space for items, but a smaller one eliminates the temptation to overpack. Before your children leave for school, determine what items they absolutely need. If they have a locker or cubby they can visit throughout the day, help them plan what to take and swap out as necessary. Keep any nonessential items at home.
Educate Your Children
It’s important to inform your children about why wearing and packing their backpack correctly is so important. Show them how to properly wear it, using both straps and buckling the belts around the chest and hips. Make sure they know how to do it themselves, too. You can also teach them to pick up their backpack to test the weight before wearing it, giving them the opportunity to remove any items that might be making their backpack too heavy—before putting any stress on their back and shoulders.
Do you have a favorite backpack with all the right features that your children use each year? Share your tips with other parents in the comments.