5 backpack safety tips
Backpacks that are too large, too heavy or worn the wrong way can result in posture problems, as well as back, neck and shoulder pain. That's why it's important to select the right backpack, load the contents properly and wear it correctly.
Follow these tips to choose the right backpack and teach your child how to wear it safely:
Shoulders. Select a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and encourage your child to use both straps. Using just one strap can cause poor posture and pain the back, shoulders and neck.
Fit. The backpack should fit snugly, close to the body and in the middle of your child's back. It should not be worn low or be so large that it falls more than 4 inches below the waist.
Back. Use the waist strap to distribute the weight of the backpack across the body and relieve pressure on the shoulders. A padded back also increases comfort.
Weight. Backpacks should not weigh more than 10% of your child's body weight. For a 75-pound child, that's only 7 1/2 pounds or less. Encourage children to only carry what they really need.
Location. Put the heaviest items closest to the back. Spread the load out by placing items in multiple compartments and make sure items don't shift.