Choose a Safe Backpack for Your Children This School Year

Even though summer is still in full-swing, many of us are already shopping for back-to-school supplies, trying to take advantage of summer deals and avoid the long lines in the weeks before school starts. If a new backpack is on your favorite student’s wish list, you may not have considered how this seemingly simple purchase can have major implications. Don’t let your growing child have a pain in the backpack!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the following features will help your child get an A in backpack safety:
1. Choose a lightweight pack that doesn’t add even more weight to your child’s load. Kids are toting more and more school supplies each day, and that doesn’t even factor in the countless textbooks and notebooks they use. Even though a leather pack might look cool, it will add more weight than a traditional canvas bag.
2. Make sure the shoulder straps are padded and wide. Straps that are too narrow will dig into the shoulders. Wider straps help to distribute the pack’s weight, and padding makes them even more comfortable.
3. Find a bag with a padded back, too. Besides providing increased comfort, a padded back will protect your child from being poked by the sharp corners of books and other objects inside the pack.
4. Look for a waist belt. This backpack feature might not be the coolest-looking thing, according to your child. But, encourage him or her to use it because it goes a long way in distributing the pack’s weight more evenly across the body – resulting on less stress on the spine.
5. Select a bag with multiple compartments. Again, this tip will help you distribute the weight of the pack more evenly. Keep supplies, such as crayon boxes, pencils, a calculator, etc., in the different compartments so their collective weight won’t weigh your child’s spine down.
One more tip for choosing a safe backpack – let your child be involved in the shopping decision. You can guide him or her toward a safe pack with the above features, but let your child have a say in the color and style so they will be proud to sport their new backpack!
Image credit: Comrade Foot (