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Back to School Reminder: Backpack Safety! How to Choose a Backpack

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It’s that time of year again. Along with fresh pencils, and new, cool lunchboxes, a new backpack, or at least a more lightweight backpack might be in order too!

Did you know?

Kids backpacks should be no more than 10 to 15% of their body weight. If your child weighs 50 lbs, they should have a 5 to 8 lb bag when full. The smaller your child, the smaller their bag should be.

Backpacks for kids need to be worn with both straps in order to evenly distribute weight. Otherwise it can cause neck and back pain for the wearer who has to compensate for the weight of the bag and adjust their hips and shoulders unevenly.

The spine is made up of 33 bones which can be compressed unnaturally if your child’s backpack is too heavy or worn incorrectly. An unsafe or heavy backpack can create issues with posture that continue even after the backpack is no longer worn.

When choosing a backpack remember…

Less is more: The smaller the backpack, the less your child will fit into it.backpack-safety comparison with citation 2

Encourage your child to clean their backpack out every night after school and repack it for the next day. This way they aren’t carrying around a heavy backpack with unneeded items.

Two straps are better than one: Messenger bags, satchels and purses that force weight on one shoulder can be more detrimental than two strapped bags.

Comfort is king: Padded straps are a must when choosing a backpack for school. Narrow or unpadded straps can dig into shoulders and cut off circulation.

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