Back to School: 3 Backpack Safety Tips to Prevent InjuriesHealth
Back to school backpacks can be dangerous. Did you know that last year alone, more than 7,000 kids were injured by overloaded bags? And it’s not just about lightening the load. The List spoke to Chiropractor Dr. Michael Diehm to find three safety tips your kids should follow to wear school backpacks properly.
1. Wear it Right
When a child is wearing their backpack, make sure it’s not dragging off the shoulders and that it doesn’t hang below the waist. If worn this way, the backpack will eventually strain the neck, because the child is making effort to push their head forward as they walk. To fix this issue, you need to adjust the straps so the backpack rests two inches below the shoulders and hits the hollow of the back.
2. Don’t Overpack
Believe it or not, a lot of kids are carrying around stuff that equals the weight of a bowling ball once they’re back to school. They’re kids, not pack mules! So, keep that knapsack under 15% of their weight. Also make sure to clean out their backpacks once a week. You’ll be surprised to find toys, rocks off the playground, and overall stuff that just adds unnecessary weight.
3. Use the Compartments
The compartments in a kid’s backpack are super helpful. They’re designed to carry certain objects in places that will balance the backpack. “This way, the weight stays more centered and doesn’t pull the child one side or the other,” Diehm explains. Lighter objects should go on top, and heavier ones in the bottom center.
So, there you have it. The earlier you instill these safety measures to your kids the better. If they start at an early age, they’ll know how to wear their backpacks properly, and carry that — literally — into teenage and adulthood. In return, they’ll benefit from a lot less posture and back problems later on.