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Backpack Safety Tips For Children Of All Ages

November 15, 2014 Hastings and Hastings

Backpack Safety Tips For Children Of All Ages

Backpacks are all the rage today for schoolchildren and even adults. With that said, there are some important safety considerations with regard to backpack use that can reduce the chances of injury. For example, overloaded backpacks are one of the most common situations that result in injury. In fact, some injuries such as shoulder and back fractures can easily result from a heavily overloaded backpack. A backpack should generally weigh less than 20% of the child’s total body weight.

Overall Level Of Fitness

While this is a general guideline, some experts even recommend that a backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight. Many considerations must be taken into account with regard to how heavy a backpack is for a child. For example the child’s overall level of fitness and strength can have a direct impact on how much weight can safely be carried. Heavy backpacks tend to cause children to lean forward causing strains and sprains. It is also important to make sure that loads are evenly distributed in the backpack.

Wearing Both Shoulder Straps Evenly

The heaviest items when loading a backpack should be at the bottom. This helps to reduce stress and strain on the shoulders and ultimately results in improved posture. Children should also be instructed to wear both backpack straps in the correct way. Wearing one strap results in an imbalance that can cause lower back pain and muscle related problems. Children who get into the habit of wearing both shoulder straps evenly will find that weight is better distributed resulting in a more balanced and better-managed load.

Stress And Strain

Equally of concern is ensuring that the right size backpack is selected for a child depending on their physical size and weight. When selecting a backpack it is important to ensure that the pack fits well and positions comfortably on the back of the child. It should rest evenly in the middle of the child’s back. Shoulder straps can then be adjusted as necessary so the child can take off or put on a backpack without undue stress and strain. The straps should be adjusted so as to prevent a backpack from hanging too low below the back. Contact Hastings & Hastings, a Phoenix personal injury lawyer if you have been injured through no fault of your own.