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Backpack safety tips

As summer turns to fall, for most, back to school season begins. This means parents and their children will brave the aisles to fill their carts with fresh school supplies.

One of the most essential of these is the backpack, a staple for carrying around all the materials needed to support a young student's journey through learning. But this backpack can be too heavy (children can be carrying as much as one quarter of their body weight!), as the National Safety Council reports that this can cause back or shoulder pain and poor posture. To protect you children, the American Chiropractic Association recommends limiting the weight of your child's backpack to only 10% of their body weight.

So what should parents look for? The National Safety Council says to look for a back pack with:

  • An ergonomic design 
  • The correct size: never wider or longer than your child's torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist
  • Padded back and shoulder straps
  • Hip and chest belts to help transfer some of the weight to the hips and torso
  • Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight
  • Compression straps on the sides or bottom to stabilize the contents
  • Reflective material

If you have questions, please contact your child's primary care provider.

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