Are Heavy Backpacks Dangerous for Kids?
Schools back in session! If you are a parent, you probably have spent most of your week buying school supplies for your child. After purchasing an abundance of folders, paper, and more you may question how your child will carry all their supplies. Backpacks are useful for this purpose, but can also be very harmful for a child’s body. Small children with large backpacks fall victim to backpack related injuries. It is reported by U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, that at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack injuries every year. Backpacks can cause a lot of harm to a child’s body if not proportionally managed in weight and size, here is how.
Fit & Size of Backpack
Small kids that are heading to school may need a big bag to carry all their supplies, but this is not safe for their bodies. It is recommended that children wear backpacks that are made of lightweight fabric material. This reduces the weight and pressure on their shoulders. Another tip when picking a bag is making sure the bag fits closely to the child’s body. Bags that leave a lot of space between the child’s back can cause even more damage. When your child has the bag on you must also pay attention to the length of the bag. Backpacks should be two inches below the child’s waist. If the bag is lower, your child may eventually start to feel pain in their neck and shoulders.
Children that are wearing backpacks will stand one of two ways. Either a child will stand up straight or lean forward with the bag on. If a child is seen leaning forward this most likely means that their bag is too heavy. When a child has too much pressure on their back and they can cause damage to their back, neck, and hips. To avoid children leaning forward they should always wear both arm straps for extra support. Children who wear bags on one shoulder are putting all the bags weight on one side. If the bag still causes the child to lean forward, parents may want to consider eliminating unnecessary items from their bag.
The weight of a backpack is the biggest danger to kids. Heavy backpacks can cause damage to the neck, shoulders, lower and upper back. For children to avoid back injuries, their bags should be 10-15 percent of their body weight. A bag that weights more than this should be minimized. It is also recommended that heavy items be packed towards the bottom of the bag and near the back. Bags with extra compartments are also a great way to distribute the weight of the bag evenly so it does not injure the child.
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