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Why Backpack Safety is important for your child…

Backpacks

Since this week is the first week back to school for most students, I thought it would be most appropriate to talk about backpack safety.

Our our backpacks really harmful? They can be.

A heavy backpack can contribute to headaches, changes in your child’s posture, compromise their spine, and even impair their growth.  This can lead to difficulty focusing and their overall health.

I’m going to go over a few tips to keep in mind that can help prevent these issues.

First, finding the right backpack is important.  There are so many backpacks out there! If you are getting a backpack for a child, you want to get one that is made for kids.  It’s also important to find one that has padded shoulder straps and a cushioned back so that it will help with those aches and pains of carrying a backpack.

Second, you don’t want your backpack to be too heavy.  The weight of the backpack should be no heavier than 10-20% of your child’s body weight.  If you don’t know, I’d always be on the cautionary side and go with 10%.  For example, if you have an elementary student who weighs about 50-60 pounds, no more than 2 books and a lunchbox should fill up the backpack.

Third, when positioning your items in your backpack, I recommend putting the heaviest items in the middle, close to your child’s back to ensure even weight throughout the backpack.

Lastly, when you wear your backpack, make sure that the straps are tightened, so that your backpack is against your child’s back rather than hanging low.  This will help relieve pressure from the spine and shoulders.

I know sometimes the weight of the backpack can get pretty heavy, especially when some schools don’t have lockers to keep those heavy books in.  And lunch boxes can get heavy especially if you have a big water bottle.  You can send your child to school with an empty water bottle and have them fill it up at school.  I would also consider using a rolling backpack to prevent any issues.

So there you have it….a few tips on backpack safety for your student.  I hope you enjoy the new school year!

Check out our Youtube video below for backpack safety tips!

Lisa Sayo, MA OTR/L

Mrs. Lisa P. Sayo, MA OTR/L, graduated from the University of California, Irvine with her Bachelors of Science in both Biology and Psychology. In 2004, she went on to graduate from the University of Southern California with her Master degree in Occupational Therapy.
Lisa Sayo, MA OTR/L
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