Children’s backpacks are getting bigger and heavier, and a lot of parents are concerned about it. In fact, some backpacks get far too heavy and mentally and physically put a strain on kids. Children who carry a lot of load in their backpacks bend forward and complain about aching back and experience twists in the muscles.
And if there’s no guidance, these children end up losing their proper posture. What’s worse is that heavy backpacks change children’s spinal alignment.
Consequently, it impacts how kids absorb shocks, which triggers joint pain and muscle injuries. Additionally, heavy and bigger backpacks interfere with children’s nerve damage and rare cases.
According to the child injury attorneys at PSBR, School districts have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for students and to protect them in various circumstances. Consequently, school districts should plan and provide guidance for parents to help alleviate the weight that children need to carry when going to school.
Let’s dive into the most effective tips on how parents can balance out their children’s backpacks and make them injury-proof:
What Issues Backpacks Can Cause
Kids experience a lot of backaches from carrying around heavy books, personal items, and school supplies in their backpacks.
But there are some cases where kids carry even more weight than their own. The backpack weight gradually pulls back backward and impacts the kids’ hips. It is an unnatural position that triggers back, neck, and shoulder pain for little ones.
The children who carry around their school bag on a single shoulder strap experience issues. In these cases, kids face the same issues but on the side of the body, which leads to even more complications.
This style of carrying bag can strain the neck and shoulders and develop an upper and lower backup. Impractical use of backpacks destroys the perfect posture of kids at an early age. In fact, it should be enough reason for parents to take immediate action and follow the best tips and practices.
How to Opt for a Well-balanced Backpack
Protecting your kid’s back starts with selecting a compatible backpack.
It means opting for a backpack that works for “your” child rather than mindlessly choosing the best one that might be bulkier and heavier. Focus on key elements when you’re choosing a backpack for your kid.
For starters, get a padded backpack so that it can protect your kid even if there are sharp objects within the bag. Select a lightweight backpack with solid build quality, like nylon and cotton canvas. Similarly, make sure the backpack has padded wide shoulder straps rather than just one.
The size of the backpack should be approximate to your kid’s torso or how many inches it would hang from his waist. The safest backpack is the one that assists and supports a kid rather than pulls him down. Run a routine check of safety tips when your kid wears and puts down a backpack.
Organize Child’s Backpack Properly
How you place items in the backpack makes a difference. So, parents should put heavy books or supplies low and toward the backpack center.
The backpack must be robust and comfortable at the same time, and it all comes down to the size. You can weigh the backpack on a scale, and if it is 5-10% over your kid’s weight, make sure it is well-balanced.
Use Double Shoulder Straps
Make sure your kids use double shoulder straps when they’re carrying around the school bag. Otherwise, it will impact spine curvature and strain muscles over time. The idea of using both straps is to evenly distribute the weight and ensure your kid’s posture remains perfect.
Carry Only Relevant Items
Ensure your kids don’t carry around an entire day’s supplies and books at once. Communicate to your child to make a few trips to the assigned locker every day.
Evenly Place the Backpack
A kid’s backpack should be positioned in the middle and about two or three inches over the waist. It will ensure your kid doesn’t develop an awkward posture.
Adjust Backpack Straps
Depending on your kid’s weight, lose or tight the backpack straps. In fact, the straps must feel like snug to the kid while wearing them. It would ensure the bag holds onto the body firmly with proper grip.
Use Support When Kids Put On and Take Off their Backpacks
Kids shouldn’t twist their backpacks too much. If you help out your kid pick up a relatively heavy bag – he won’t have to bend both knees or twist the waist.
Communicate with School Teachers
A backpack with wheels is a great idea to carry heavy yet small school bags. Students often lug around those backpacks with a lot of books and supplies. Still, don’t see it as a definitive idea.
Check in with your child’s school and find out what backpack teachers recommend, and avoid the ones that come with hazardous material warnings that might be allergic to your kid’s health.
So, in a kid’s backpack, prioritize lightweight, a padded back, two padded and wide shoulder straps, multiple compartments, and a waist belt. Pay close attention to your kid’s movement when he removes or puts on his backpack. You don’t have to adapt all safety practices at once – start with the basic weight-balance tip to ensure your kid doesn’t have more weight than he has to.
If your kid has pain because of wearing and slugging around a heavy backpack – follow safe backpack practices and ensure it’s balanced based on your children’s weight. Also, find out whether or not your child’s school allows lockers to store books, suppliers, etc. If your kid continues to experience pain after carrying a heavy backpack, reach out to a professional healthcare provider.