Backpack Safety Tips for Kids
Proper backpack fit is essential to allow students to carry their supplies to/from school and around the school environment without negative effects on their musculoskeletal system. Children and young adults are constantly growing and developing their muscles. A poor-fitting backpack can have adverse effects on proper orthopedic and musculoskeletal development and alignment, ultimately causing pain and dysfunction.
A properly fitting backpack includes:
- Matching the child’s size. It should not extend past the child’s low back with the bottom resting in the contour of the low back.
- Use of both straps. Two straps promote even weight distribution and help prevent trunk side bending or shoulder elevation.
- Ability to put it on and take it off without difficulty- a backpack that is too tight can restrict lung function
- Free movement of the arms
Finally, as educators and parents, we need to be able to recognize the warning signs that a backpack is too heavy. Be alert to:
Changes in posture
Struggling when putting the pack on
Pain while wearing the backpack
Tingling or numbness