back to school kids with backpacksIt’s common for kids to lug around backpacks appearing to be twice their body weight. Though it may seem cool to sling a heavy load over one shoulder – long-term head, neck, and shoulder pain are not.

Here are some helpful tips that will help your child carry his or her backpack with ease:

backpack how to pack and wearSTART WITH THE BAG: choose a lightweight bag (canvas or vinyl are best) with a padded back, two wide (around 2 inches in width) shoulder straps, a hip or waist strap and lots of pockets.

MAXIMIZE THOSE POCKETS: pick a pack with lots of compartments, and use them, to help balance the load.

HEAVIER ITEMS IN THE BACK: pack heaviest items closest to your back. Make sure items in the backpack are not sliding around.

PACK IT LIGHT: The backpack should only contain what is needed for the day. Kids in grades K-8 should not carry more than 10% of their total body weight. Kids in grades 8 and up can get away with up to 15%. Weight adds up quick so make sure to weigh that pack.

WEAR IT RIGHT: Place the backpack on a flat, waist-level surface and slip straps on one at a time. Adjust the straps so the pack sits flush against the back, it should be fit well but not be too tight (if you can’t slide a hand between the pack and your child’s back it’s too tight. Use the hip or waist strap, it reduces the strain on the back.

For more backpack tips and downloadable backpack safety resources visit www.bcchiro.com/PackItLight.

 

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