- Avoid buying one-shoulder backpacks for your child. Single strap backpacks force all of the weight onto one shoulder. This causes your child to unnaturally bend to one side in order to evenly distribute the weight. Consequently, your child will develop lower back problems.
- Choose a backpack with padded, wide straps. Thin straps will dig into your child’s shoulders.
- Buy a backpack with a waist belt. This helps even out the weight of the backpack so it doesn’t put too much stress on one area.
- Remember that backpacks with multiple pockets also help distribute weight evenly.
- A backpack with wheels takes away the burden of carrying something heavy on your back. However, your child’s school may not permit these kinds of backpacks. Check with the school before you buy one.
- If your child has a locker in school, encourage him to drop off his books throughout the day to avoid carrying a heavy load.
- Your child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10%-15% of his or her body weight.
- Tighten the straps so the backpack is closer to the body – but not tight enough so that the straps dig into your child’s shoulders.
- Plan your child’s homework in advance so he doesn’t have to carry all of his books home on a single day.
- If possible, attain an extra set of textbooks at home so your child doesn’t have to carry the same book back and forth.
- On some days you may not be able to lessen your child’s backpack load. However, remember that your child can carry any extra weight in his arms if necessary.
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