Family Magazine

Choosing the Right Backpack Can Greatly Reduce the Risks of Long-Term Health Problems Or Injuries

By Upliftingfam @upliftingfam

Boy Carrying Is Backpack ProperlyIs your child’s backpack too heavy, bulky, or about to burst at the seams because your child is constantly stuffing all of their school supplies, textbooks, library books, lunch boxes, and other personal belongings into their backpack?  A heavy backpack can cause long-term health problems or injuries.  Over the last few years, more children are complaining about neck, shoulder, and back pain as a result of carrying around a heavy backpack every day.  I am excited to share with you that some schools are slowly catching on to the dangers of your child carrying too many books in their backpack.  Some schools are providing teachers with a set of textbooks for the classroom and then they school sends a textbook home with each student at the beginning of the year so that your child can keep the book at home.  As technology continues to improve, more schools can check out digital copies of textbooks and reduce your child’s load.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only.  If your child is complaining about neck, shoulder, pain between their shoulder blades, or back pain, please see your child’s doctor immediately to rule out serious health problems or injuries.

Learn The Truth About Rolling Backpacks

A few years ago, backpack makers introduced a rolling backpack which was a great idea in theory.  Backpack makers wanted to make it easier for kids to haul around a heavy backpack.  However, most parents don’t realize that these backpacks aren’t made for icy conditions, snow, stairs, or tight spaces (ie bus, crowded hallways).  In fact, some school districts have banned the use of rolling backpacks because they are bulkier and take up more space in the classroom.  Before heading to the store to buy your child a rolling backpack, make sure that your child’s school hasn’t banned these backpacks.  When your child gets to middle or high school, it will be difficult for your child to roll the backpack behind them in a crowded hallway or end up having to haul their backpack on their back to climb the stairs.  If your child has a rolling backpack it is possible that your child is going to have to constantly wear it on their back anyhow, putting them at risk for long-term health problems or injuries.  A backpack with wheels add additional weight to your child’s backpack.

Backpacks Can Easily Become a Tripping Hazard In A Crowded Classroom or Hallway

Backpacks are a great for your child to carry their school supplies and textbooks; however, they can cause additional injuries.  If you have ever been to a classroom, most of the time the classrooms are small and cramped.  In fact, there usually isn’t much room for your personal belongings to fit underneath your desk.  Often times your backpack might even extend out in the aisle and cause you or another student to trip and fall over your backpack.

Heavy, Overstuffed Backpacks Can Easily Hurt Someone

A backpack that is heavy and stuffed full often takes up more room than students realize especially in crowded areas such as a hallway, bus or classroom aisle.  If you have ever stood at your locker and quickly turned around, more than likely your backpack has bumped into someone.  Depending on how much weight is in your child’s backpack, your child could accidentally hurt someone.  If your child’s backpack falls off of a chair, desk, or out of your locker, it could easily hurt someone.  An overweight backpack can also cause your child to fall because it changes the way they walk or makes them lose their balance easier.

Teach Your Child How to Properly Pick Up a Heavy Backpack

A heavy backpack should always be lifted with your legs and not your back.  To properly lift a backpack your child should bend at the knees into a squatting position.  Then pick it using their leg muscles while keeping their hips square, carefully lift the back up to your shoulders and put on the shoulders one strap at a time.

Choosing the Right Backpack For Your Child

I realize that your child probably wants a backpack that looks cool but it is important for your child to choose a backpack that is made of a sturdy, lightweight material.  Your child’s backpack should fit  properly.  Backpacks that is too big for your child can easily be stuffed full.  An overstuffed backpack can increase your child’s risk of injuries.  Have your child try on the backpack and if possible add some weight to it at the store.  Confirm that it fits your child properly before you purchase it.  Tighten the straps so that they properly fit your child.  Once the straps are tightened properly, the bottom of the backpack should sit about 2 inches above your child’s waist.  Also look for a backpack that has the following features:

  • A backpack that has multiple compartments will help evenly distribute the weight  and reduce your child’s risk of injury as long as they don’t go over their maximum weight limit.
  • Find a backpack that has a waist strap.  A waist strap will help distribute some of the weight onto your child’s hips.  It also helps distribute the weight load across your child’s body.
  • Try to find a backpack with padded back.  It can help protect your child’s back from objects poking your child in the back.
  • Always choose a backpack that has wide, padded straps.

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Does your child’s backpack fit properly?  Has your child ever complained of being injured at school from backpack?

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