Backpacks – Safety tips to protect children back

Backpacks are a practical and popular way for children and adolescents to carry school books and supplies.  If backpacks are used correctly, can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school days. And backpacks are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles. However, when backpacks are too heavy or worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers.

Problems backpacks can pose –

When a heavy backpack is placed on the shoulder, the weight forces can pull a child backward. To compensate, that child will bend forward at the hips or arches the back. This compresses the spine unnaturally, leading pain at the shoulder, neck, and back.

Pack with narrow tight straps digs into the shoulder and can interfere with circulation and compress the nerve. These can lead to tingling, numbness, weakness in the arms and hands.

And also, the bulky or heavy backpack can hit others while turning around; children can trip over, pack falls on them and increases the risk of falling due to off-balance.

Finding a safe backpack –

  • The most important thing to consider is an appropriate size backpack. An ideal backpack should not be wider than the child’s torso and should not hang more than 2 inches below the waist.
  • Lightweight backpack – Pack should not add much weight to the load so avoid leather pack.
  • Use pack with two wide, padded shoulder straps, which help to distribute the weight on children back without digging into shoulder.
  • Use a backpack with padded back. It provides increased comfort and also protects kids from being poked by a sharp object or edges {pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.} inside the pack.
  • Use backpacks with multiple compartment and compressive straps, which help to distribute the weight throughout the pack.
  • Use backpacks with waist straps, which help distribute the weight of the pack more evenly across the children’s back and also holds the pack close to the body.

Safe and sensible usage of the backpack –

  • Pack light – Backpack should not weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of the child’s body weight.
  • Make sure children use both shoulder straps when carrying the pack and use the waist strap. Adjust straps to fit snugly.
  • Encourage children to bring only necessary books and material.
  • Organize the pack, put the heaviest items low and near the center of the back.
  • Do not bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy pack, instead bend using both knees.
  • At last and most important, learn back strengthening exercises to build up the muscles used to carry a pack.