We still remember that we used to struggle a lot with our backpacks while going to school. They were too heavy for us, and we were not aware of the ergonomics related to them or the health hazards.
If you are a parent, rest assured. We have covered every minor detail you would need to reduce your kid’s backpack issues. Besides that, you can also teach the below tactics to your kid so that they can handle their backpacks ergonomically and reduce the chances of injuries.
Studies suggest that 56% of students carry backpacks with weight beyond their carrying capacities. This additional weight makes them vulnerable to syndromes like postural dysfunction and other spinal-cord related disorders.
As a parent, you must be aware of kids’ schedules and the books/notebooks they are carrying. You must ensure that they are not carrying any unnecessary weight. This will reduce a fraction of the problems.
To eliminate every other issue related to backpacks that could hamper your kid’s health, check out the below-mentioned safety tips.
7 Major Backpack Safety Tips
1. Prefer Wheeled Backpacks
Scientists have found that backpack weight must not exceed 10% of a student’s body weight. However, as mentioned above, in 56% of cases, the backpack weights exceed this 10% mark, and at times, it even touches 20%-25%.
You can try reducing the weight by removing the extra stuff, but if you can’t, it is suggested to prefer a backpack with wheels. It is because your kid then won’t have to carry that extra weight on the back. They can use the wheels and drag the bag easily.
Apart from this, as per scientists, the threshold weight limit for wheeled backpacks is 20% of a student’s body weight.
2. BackPack Quality must be Top-Notch
As a parent, you must ensure that your kid’s backpack is well built and follows the ergonomic norms.
While buying a bag, you must consider the following points:
- Shoulder Strap Padding must be adequate.
- The backpack must have Multiple Compartments for better weight distribution.
- Both Shoulder and Waist Clips should be present along with the Support Straps.
- There should be enough Padding at the Back of the backpack. This will provide the Cushing to the spine and prevent it from injuries.
- The backpack should be Self-Balancing. It will help the kid to lift the bag with minimal bending.
3. Positioning of the Backpack
One of the most common mistakes kids make while carrying the backup is that they wear their bags too low.
Wearing a backpack too low could significantly increase the chances of lower back injuries and reduces overall stability.
You kid must wear their backpacks above hips and below shoulders. The straps shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
4. Wear Both Shoulders Straps
When we used to go to school, we usually wore only one shoulder strap. At that time, we had no information about its impact on our physical health and shoulders.
But you as a parent must teach your kid to wear both the shoulder straps of the backpack so that its weight can be distributed equally on both the shoulders.
Wearing both shoulder straps will significantly reduce the chances of getting shoulder or neck injuries.
5. Chest and Waist Clips must be used
If your backpack doesn’t have these chest and waist clips, it is strongly recommended to change the backpack.
National Safety council strictly suggests buying a backpack with chest and waist clips.
Both these clips are responsible for the weight distribution of the backpack through the body muscles.
The chest clips will reduce the strain on your kid’s shoulder and spread the weight across the upper body muscles. Similarly, the Waist clips minimize the strain on the back and spread it over the hips.
Wearing these clips will help the kid carry the backpack easily, but it will also ensure better stability.
6. The backpack must be Lifted Properly
Your kid must be aware of the correct posture while lifting the backpack. Inappropriately lifting could make their lower back vulnerable to injuries.
You must teach your kid the following steps to lift the backpack ergonomically:
- Bend the knees (like squats) and then reach out to the backpack. Do not lean forward without bending the knees, as that could increase the chances of lower back pain.
- While lifting, hold the backpack with both hands to avoid additional strain on any arms.
- If the backpack is too heavy, use a chair or desk to elevate the bag before directly putting it on to the back.
7. While waiting, Place the Backpack on the Floor
It makes no sense to carry the backpack on the back while waiting for the school transport or in a queue.
Carrying a backpack for a prolonged duration could make your kid more vulnerable to back and shoulder injuries.
You must train your little one to place the backpack on the floor while waiting or standing in a queue for more than 10 minutes.
If their backpack is self-balancing, it will easily rest at the right angle on the floor without hampering the inner content.
Backpacks help us gain the knowledge that will last lifelong. However, your kid shouldn’t hamper their physical health while carrying the backpack, as that could create a lot of trouble in the longer run.
Educate your kids with the points mentioned above, read our guide on children’s ergonomics If you want to know more about it.
Lastly, we have tried to cover everything. However, if we have missed something, do let us know. We will discuss it further.