August 2015 Newsletter
It’s that time of year again-Back to School Season! With the lists of different supplies that you need to buy for each of your children going back to school, there might be one thing that you are not fully thinking about. Backpack Safety. Backpacks are supposed to make school life easier for children and teens. Unfortunately, nowadays a lot of backpacks are doing more harm than good. To help your child avoid pain and injury from their backpacks this year, check out these tips!
- Be sure that you are buying your child the right size backpack. When a child puts on a backpack and tightens the straps, the bottom of the backpack should sit just about 2 inches above their waistline. If your child’s backpack hangs too low, it will cause them to hunch over. This hunching can ultimately lead to bad posture and back problems.
- Lift with your legs. Not your back. Lifting with your back while putting on your backpack can lead to pulled muscles and neck injuries. Your child should bend his/her knees while picking up the backpack then putting it on one shoulder, then the other.
- Limit the time the backpack is in use. Typically, you should not be wearing a backpack longer than half an hour at a time. Since your child is not likely going on all day hikes, this rule is easy to follow.
- Don’t over pack your backpack. A backpack should not weigh more than 15% of your body weight. This means for an 80-pound child, their backpack should weigh less than 12 pounds. To find your child’s maximum backpack weight, multiply their weight by .15. To avoid over packing, have your child carry a textbook or notebook in their arms.