Is your child’s backpack too heavy? Do they struggle to walk while wearing it? Chances are your child has way too much stuff in their backpack. Luckily, these backpack safety tips to keep your child safe can be implemented with ease to help them avoid both short- and long-term damage.
Did you know a child’s backpack should be no more than 10 percent of their body weight? This unnecessary strain on your child’s back can result in temporary back pain or a permanent injury.
Backpack injuries are more common than you think. In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries from heavy backpacks result in more than 7,000 emergency room visits per year.
Warning Signs Your Child’s Backpack Is Hurting Them
Not sure if your child’s backpack is too heavy? If they aren’t telling you they are in pain, other signs to look for include:
- Difficulty when putting on or taking off the backpack
- Tingling or numbness in the arms or legs
- Red strap marks over the anterior part of the shoulders
- Any change in side to side posture while wearing the backpack
Choosing a Backpack that Won’t Hurt Your Child
When doing your back-to-school shopping, you should look for a backpack that is an appropriate size for the size of your child. Other features you should consider include:
- Wide, padded shoulder straps
- Two shoulder straps
- Padded back
- Waist strap
- Lightweight backpack
- Rolling backpack
Preventing Back Injury Caused from Backpacks
While not all orthopedic injuries can be avoided, there are measures you can take to try to prevent them. These include:
- Always wear both straps
- Tighten straps to keep the weight closer and avoid strain
- Pack heavier things low and towards the center
- Only pack the essentials
- Teach your child to pick up the backpack by bending and lifting in the knees instead of the waist
- Encourage your child to be vocal about pain or numbness
Back-to-school is an exciting time for both students and parents. An injury can put your child’s education on hold. These tips can be used as a guide to avoid injuries this year.