Children will be heading back to school over the coming days, and they’ll need a bag to carry all their school supplies. Beyond the image they project, are your children’s backpacks properly suited to their needs?
Since children wear their backpacks for extended periods of time each day, it’s important that the bags be correctly fitted in order to prevent back injuries. Here are some elements to consider:
- Choose a lightweight bag. The shoulder straps should be padded, as should the surface that comes into contact with the back, in order to improve comfort and avoid having the child poked by the sharp points and edges of pencils, rulers and other objects that must be transported.
- Select the right backpack size. It should cover no more than three-quarters of the length of the child’s back.
- Teach your child to load the backpack properly, placing the heaviest books closest to the back, as they require more support. When a child has to lean forward to carry a backpack, it’s because it’s too heavy.
- Make sure your child is wearing the pack correctly. It may be quicker to throw the bag over one shoulder and hold it by a single strap, but this can cause back aches. Explain how important it is to use both straps, along with the proper way to adjust them so that the backpack remains close to the body. If a backpack has a waist strap, using it can help spread the weight of the load.
- Encourage your kids to only bring home the items they really need, so that they don’t carry any unnecessary weight. The weight of a loaded backpack should not exceed 15 percent of the child’s body weight.
When selecting a backpack, the child’s needs should come before the look of the bag. If you plan on reusing the same bag as the previous year, make sure the straps are still securely attached and have no tears. You can get certain minor problems repaired by a cobbler. Don’t hesitate to speak to one for advice. Have a great school year!