With back to school right around the corner, many parents are getting ready for their annual school supply shopping to get their kids ready for the upcoming academic year. Backpacks are often one of the key items on a parent’s list, and for good reason, as they can be an excellent way for kids to transport their books and supplies to and from school on a daily basis. With that being said, however, improperly designed or used backpacks can wreak havoc on your child’s posture, causing spinal compression, shoulder pain, lower back tension, and neck issues.
If a new backpack is on your list for your child, consider the following safety tips:
- Keep the weight to a minimum: It is recommended that a child carries no more than 10 to 15 percent of their total body weight in a backpack. To put this in perspective, an 80 pound child should have no more than 8 to 12 pounds of books and supplies on their back. If a child carries too much weight, they may be forced to compensate by leaning forward at the hips and back, potentially causing musculoskeletal issues.
- Consider a wheeled backpack: If your child absolutely must carry more than the appropriate weight, consider a backpack with wheels. Wheeled backpacks can eliminate the stress on your child’s back and allow them to carry greater amounts of supplies without risk of injury. It is important to note, however, that not all schools allow these types of backpacks and their design could present challenges when trying to fit them into a locker.
- Use both straps: Good backpacks have two padded straps and a waist strap for support. While your child may be tempted to sling it over one shoulder for convenience or to look “cool,” this can cause an uneven weight distribution and be harmful long-term. Encourage your children to use both straps at all times and make sure the straps are tightened enough so that the backpack rests close to their body and even with the middle of their back.
- Lighten the load: When your child comes home on the first day from school, you may be shocked to see the sheer amount of materials they may be carrying. Lighten the weight by removing any unnecessary items such as electronics, laptops, and handheld game systems. If possible, opt for digital or disc versions of books and course materials.
At Shiner Law Group, our Boca Raton child injury lawyers are always on the lookout for ways to keep our community’s children safe and out of harm’s way. If your child has been injured by a dangerous product or due to the negligence of another party, our trusted professionals can fight to protect your rights and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. With 15+ years of proven personal injury experience, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.
Discuss your legal options with us 24/7 by calling our office at (561) 777-7700.