At first glance, backpacks may look innocuous, especially when they come in bright colours and adorable designs of your children’s favourite cartoon characters. However, backpacks can cause minor repercussions to children if misused. Here are five backpack safety tips all parents must keep in mind from Parenting.com:
1. Avoid overloading
Children should carry no more than 10% of their body weight in their backpacks. If they do, it can cause a serious pain in their backs over time—literally.
2. Choosing the right bag
Although there are a lot of bags with different styles to choose from, children are better off using a backpack that has two straps. A good padding must also be considered, because it helps distribute the weight evenly.
3. Adjust the height
“Kids like to leave the straps loose so the bag hangs off their back,” says Timothy Neuschwander, M.D., lead author of a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego, on back-pack side effects. “That may cause pain because the lower back is carrying all the weight, rather than the shoulders doing more of the work.”
4. Using both straps
Parents need to make sure that their kids wear their backpacks using both straps. Wearing it on one shoulder may look cool, but its negative effects to their posture aren’t.
5. Have your child checked
If they’re complaining of back pain or ache, don’t think twice before getting in touch with your doctor.
Photo credit: woodleywonderworks
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