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Choosing a Backpack That Makes the Grade


Backpack Heavy You are probably in the midst of back to school shopping, and on that list is likely a backpack. Each year thousands of children are injured by their backpack, but your child does not have to be one of them. Smart shopping, and smart packing can greatly reduce the risk of backpack related injuries.

As an adult it is easy to forgot exactly how that backpack feels for the child. The backpack may not feel heavy to you, but it might feel heavy to a child that has to lug it around all day. When the backpack is heavy, it will cause the child to hunch forward to stay upright. When the child hunches forward increased stress is placed on the muscles and joints of the spine, increasing risk of injury. Here is a list of what you should look for in a backpack.

    • Lightweight material to help lessen the weight of the backpack

    • Two wide, padded, adjustable shoulder straps to comfortably and evenly distribute the weight of the backpack. Narrow, non-padded straps can dig in affecting circulation and nerve conduction

    • A chest and/or waist strap that can be buckled to more evenly distribute the weight of the backpack and take stress away from the shoulders, neck, and back

    • Multiple compartments to keep everything organized and evenly distributed

Hopefully, your child has a backpack that meets the above criteria, but there is still some work to be done. Now your child has to use and pack the backpack properly.

    • Place books heavier to lighter from back to front. This will ensure the heaviest part of the load is closest to their body, making it easier to carry

    • Utilize all the compartments to keep the weight evenly distributed and from objects sliding around

    • Use BOTH shoulder straps, and both the chest and waist buckle to distribute the load

    • Adjust the straps so the backpack stays tight to their back. It should not be loose or hang down

    • Carry only what is needed. Removing unnecessary objects will help keep the weight down

    • The weight of the backpack should not exceed 15-20% of the their body weight

    • Remember to pick up and put down the backpack with proper lifting form

Following these simple tips will help keep your child happy and out of pain.


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  3. You won’t find a better backpack for under ВЈ50, however it is a top loader and if you don’t already have a day pack you will need to factor that cost in, as the Outad doesn’t come with one.

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