05 Sep Picking Your Child’s Back-To-School Backpack: What Parents Should Know
It can be challenging to find the right backpack for your child – you may disagree with your child on the style, colour, and even durability. But it can be even more difficult to deal with the injuries resulting from wearing an ill-fitting backpack. A child may develop serious neck and back pains as a result.
To help children evenly carry the weight of binders, books, water, and lunches on their backs, it’s important to remember how a backpack should fit on a child. In an article from Today’s Parent, a spokesperson for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and an occupational therapy consultant weighed in on what parents should be looking for when helping their child find a new back-to-school backpack.
Key Tips You May Have Overlooked
Among the usual reminders to look for padded straps, sturdy internal frames, and heavy stitching, there are a few other tips that are often overlooked, but are equally as important:
- Try on different bags, and bring some books to test them out: you won’t know the strength of the straps or the distribution of weight in all the compartments unless you test them out.
- Explain to your child why it‘s important to use both straps: a child may think only using one strap looks “cool”, but it can cause damage to the back and shoulders. Encourage your child to use both straps. Explain that it’s important to evenly distribute the weight instead of using one side of the body to carry everything.
Reducing the Likelihood of Injury
The article also reminds parents where a backpack should fall on the body – the top shouldn’t reach above the shoulders, and the bottom should not go past the hips. The straps should be adjusted accordingly. This will help reduce the likelihood of putting excess strain on the neck and spine, as well as the back muscles.
Remember, symptoms of injuries don’t always show up right away. The damage that an ill-fitting backpack can cause may not happen on the first or second day of school, but instead develops over time. Consult a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about what disability benefits you may claim if your child suffers from any neck or back-related injuries.
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