As children head back to school, make sure to pick the right backpack for your kiddo! Did you know that backpacks that are too heavy can cause back and shoulder pain and poor posture?
From the American Academy of Pediatrics, here is what you should look for in a backpack:
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight. If your child is 50 pounds, this would be 5 – 10 pounds, and for a 100-pound child, this would be 10 – 20 pounds. Go through the pack with your child weekly and remove unneeded items to keep it light.
- Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
- Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist. Consider a backpack with waist straps to distribute the load even more.