Backpack Safety Check

Did you know more than half of students today are carrying a backpack that is too heavy!

In my 26 years of seeing children in our clinic I must say that there are young children and young adults developing poor posture which will have a negative effect on their health as they get older. Problems such as back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches are just a few problems that will develop from a too heavy and an improperly worn back pack. 

Follow these safety tips to help your children and grand children wear their backpacks safely and correctly.

Tip # 1 Start with a lightweight backpack

Make sure the backpack is made of lightweight but durable material

Tip # 2 Make sure shoulder straps are wide and padded

Wide padded straps provide good support. The straps should be strong but not so tight that they cause discomfort. 

Tip # 3 The back should also be padded 

Padding that sits against your child’s back will provide additional support.

Tip # 4 Look for a backpack with a waist strap

A waist strap holds the content closer to your child’s back for better balance. 

Tip # 5 Multiple compartments are a plus

With multiple compartments its easier to distribute the weight. Keep heavier items toward the center of the bag.

Tip # 6 Both straps should be worn at all times

they will also help to distribute the weight of the backpack. 

Tip # 7 Do not overload 

Your child’s backpack should not weigh more than 15% of his or her own body weight. Encourage your children to carry heavier items in their arms if possible. 

*Side note – Backpacks with wheels are also an option for children experiencing discomfort.

Examples of backpack weight:

For a 48 lb child 15% is 7 lbs

For a 60 lb child 15% is 9 lbs

For a 76 lb child 15% is 11 lbs 

If you have any questions or your son or daughter is having any back or neck pain don’t hesitate to give Dr. Frazetta a call or just stop in and he will show you how to wear the backpack!

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