August 4, 2016
School will be starting soon, and that means back-to-school shopping. One of the most important items on the list is the backpack, and purchasing the proper backpack is very important. Avoiding a heavy backpack can go a long way in preventing serious health problems.
A heavy backpack can lead to long-term problems
It is a good idea to keep these Backpack Safety Tips in mind as you consider a backpack for your child, regardless of his or her age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s backpack should not exceed 10-15% of your child’s body weight. Both straps, preferably padded, should always be worn and precautions should be taken to avoid a heavy backpack.
Prolonged use of a heavy backpack can lead to many long-term heavy risks, including:
• Pain caused by curvature of the spine, often due to improperly wearing a backpack over just one shoulder
• Poor posture can result from the weight of a heavy backpack pulling your child forward, and this can lead to compression of the spine
• Pain and tingling in arms, neck, hands and legs caused by pressure from straps on the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulders
• Strain or damage to muscles in the back and stomach, and pain in the upper and lower back due to improper use
Before you purchase a new backpack this year, review these Backpack Safety Tips, and discuss them with your child. Proper padding and size should be a higher priority than the color and design of the backpack. The school year comes with enough stressors, your child’s backpack doesn’t need to be one of them!