When we think about school and our children, we take steps in ensuring that they are in an environment, which is safe and at the same time conducive for learning. In ensuring a child’s safety, parents may overlook certain matters, which are important as well.
School backpacks will always be part of a child’s gear for school. While it is a convenient way to carry books and other supplies, it may also lead to health problems when improperly used. Aside from the potential to cause injury to the muscles and joints, improper backpack use may also lead to posture problems.
It is crucial for parents to choose the right backpack for a child. Choose a backpack with wide, padded straps. A backpack with a narrow strap may hamper circulation, and it may also cause pain. A backpack with a waist belt may also be a good choice because it can help in distributing the weight evenly. It may also be wise if you select a backpack with compartments. Aside from allowing a child to easily find smaller things, it can keep the weight from changing as your child walks.
When thinking about the size of the backpack, it should not be wider than the torso of your child. It should also be lightweight so that it will not put more strain on your child’s back. A padded back may be more comfortable, and at the same time it can protect your child’s back from sharp edges, or other objects from inside the pack.
If you are thinking of getting a rolling backpack for your child, check first with your child’s school. These types of backpacks are not allowed on some schools because these may pose as a tripping hazard. It is also good to consider, that this type of backpack may be hard to pull up the stairs, or it may be difficult to roll in snow.
The right backpack when improperly used may still cause health problems. Parents should then teach a child the right way to use a backpack. Tell your child to use both shoulder straps at all times. Using only one strap can strain muscles, and it may only increase curvature of the spine.
The straps should also be tightened so that the pack is close to the body. Teach your child the proper way to organize the things inside the pack. The heavier items need to be placed close to the back. Encourage your child to use the compartments, so that the weight can be better distributed.
Let your child know about weight restrictions regarding his load. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s backpack, should not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of his total body weight. Determine the allowed weight for your child, and encourage him to leave unnecessary things behind.
If you think your child is carrying too many things, look for ways on how you can unburden his load. If there are lockers available, encourage your child to leave books, or other things, which he will not be using yet. Talk to your child’s teacher if needed, so that you can work on ways on how to make the load lighter for children.
A backpack is an essential school gear, but it is important that children are taught the proper way to use it. According to studies, a good number of people have chronic back pain related to backpack use. While choosing a backpack can seem easy, parents should never underestimate the effects it can do to a child, especially when it is not used properly.