Hello again Everyone,
Summer vacation for most school-age children has ended or is almost over and it’s back to school. I know this because of all the kids (mine included) and all the frantic moms and dads who are taking their children to stores to buy new clothes, school supplies, and of course the obligatory backpack.
Some kids look like we are sending them off to work camps and the parents are feel like the summer was difficult to get through and of course, this is the time where you thank God that we have great schools and teachers. But seriously, watching parents and children pick out backpacks made me think about the potential harm we can inflict on our kids.
We treat kids every day who carry backpacks that even I strain to lift. I also know that most parents are at wits end not knowing what to do. I have some simple guidelines for you to use when picking out a backpack.
Choosing the Best Backpack
First, the size of the backpack is probably the most important decision. Your child will want it to be “cool” or a brand name, but you must stand firm and make wise choices.
A fully loaded backpack should not exceed 15% of the child’s body weight.
For example: A 100-pound child should not carry a backpack that weighs more than 15 pounds. And a child should NEVER
(that’s correct – NEVER) wear a backpack that exceeds 25 pounds – no matter how much the child weighs.
Avoid choosing a backpack with many compartments. Although compartments help to keep things organized, many pockets can make it easy to overload the backpack.
Backpacks are made from different materials such as synthetic textiles, heavy canvas and leather. Avoid materials that add unnecessary weight to the backpack. Leather looks good – but it is too heavy! Many synthetic materials are light-weight, durable, water resistant and available in a range of fashionable colors.
A backpack made from a reflective material is also a good choice. It can make it easier for your child to be seen at dusk or dawn when most drivers’ vision is at its poorest.
You should choose a backpack with wide padded shoulder straps, a padded back, and a waist strap. Some backpacks are available with adjustable air-filled cushions that help to protect the back.
Look for a backpack with compression straps. These straps can be tightened to help stabilize the backpack’s contents. And it’s considered prudent to choose a backpack equipped with wheels, although I doubt that your child would buy into that idea.
How to Properly Wear a Backpack
Position the backpack close to the back. Adjust the shoulder straps so the load stays snug against the back. The straps should be snug but comfortable, and should allow both arms to easily move. Wear both shoulder straps. This will help to distribute the load evenly.
The backpack should hang just below the shoulders with the bottom of the pack resting in the low back curve.
Adjust and use the waist strap to help keep the backpack close to the back. This will help to reduce shoulder and back strain.
Remember, when it comes to backpacks for school, it is a parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to teach their children how to be safe and remain healthy. They will resist, trust me, but let them know you want them to grow up without back troubles, one of the top issues many children, teens and young adults provoke from improper backpacks.