Protect Your Kids From Backpacks That Are Too Heavy

posted by Zuko - 

With the kids back in school a lot of kids have big backpacks that are just weighing them down. To avoid bad posture and pain here are some tips to help them out. 

  • Check out hiking and camping stores - Chiropractor Daniel Pozarnsky advises going to these stores for an in-person try-on session. They have pros who know how to fit your child with the right backpack and give recommendations based on your kid’s body frame.
  • When choosing a backpack, look for:
    • Two wide, padded, adjustable shoulder straps - skinny straps can dig in and cross-body bags don’t distribute weight evenly.
    • Lots of compartments - So you have more places to move stuff around and make it more comfy.
    • Lightweight materials - Leather looks nice but weighs more than canvas or nylon.
    • A waist belt and sternum strap - To help distribute weight evenly.
    • A proper fit - Look for one that sits just below the child’s shoulder blades, isn’t wider than their back and doesn’t hang lower than the waist.
  • Lighten the load - The American Academy of Pediatricsrecommends that kids not carry more than 10% to 20% of their body weight in their backpack. So kindergarteners should only be lugging four pounds or so. Weigh it if you’re not sure if it’s too heavy.
  • Look out for signs the backpack is too heavy - If your kid grunts when they pick it up, leans forward when standing, or complains of numb arms and hands, that bag is too heavy.
  • Avoid attaching a lunch box to the backpack - It’s convenient, but heavy lunch bags make it weigh more, so it’s probably easier for your kid to carry it separately.
  • Do weekly checks - Kids accumulate PTA flyers, art projects, supplies, water bottles, socks, old snacks, and other junk in their bags, so clean it out frequently to lighten their load.

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Dan Zuko

Dan Zuko

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