> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Backpack Knowledge YOU Need to Know!
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Backpack Knowledge YOU Need to Know!

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We recently added a health fair and learned some pretty interesting tidbits about backpacks and kids' back health, and I wanted to share them with you!

You may be really surprised by the numbers in this graph from the American Physical Therapy Association, American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

backpack weight limits chart

I was shocked to realize that the small backpack Miss Grace was carrying, from items given to her at the health fair, was actually ALMOST her weight limit! You really need to weigh your child's backpack on a typical day to see if they are over the limit!

Here's what happened when I checked hers yesterday morning:

weighing backpack 1

WHOA- almost 5 pounds! And that is WITH her lunch box!

weighing backpack 2

WHEW, she was at her right amount. Now when she came home it was a full pound and a half lighter. Which was lunch and her water bottle! Now you know WHY so many kids are carrying their lunch boxes instead of putting them in their backpacks.

So was that an eye opener for you?
It was for me!

Now make sure YOU weigh your kids' backpacks today! 

And here are some backpack suggestions from Cornell University Ergonomics Dept.:

  • Your child's backpack should have wide, padded straps.  A waist belt is a good idea also, especially if it’s going to carry a lot of weight (it takes pressure off the neck and shoulders).
  • Both shoulder straps should be worn to better distribute the weight. It should NEVER be worn to the front of the body! 
  • The backpack should have good padding on the area that rests against the back.
  • A backpack with several compartments can also distribute the load better.  Pack the heavier items closer to the back.  Pointy and bulky items should not rest against the back (even with padding).
  • The backpack should be positioned so that it hangs just below the shoulders and rests on the hips and pelvis.  If it hangs below this, it will more likely cause strain.
  • There’s no need to carry absolutely everything one owns in a backpack (unless perhaps if there are no lockers).  Frequent trips should be made to the locker to get only the objects that are currently needed.  Other items should be placed back in storage.  Another option would be to store the entire backpack, with the exception of the necessary items.
  • Avoid very large backpacks with many compartments.  These will only encourage the user to store more items in them__otherwise, they may look “empty.”
  • 1 comment:

    1. This is great information for all parents. My children's backpacks were always too heavy for them. Too many books. But this guide is one that we should try to follow.
      twinkle at optonline dot net


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