Back to school should not be a pain in the back for your child. Beyond Urgent Care in Bethel is issuing some reminders for parents about selecting a backpack for carrying books and other items. Spokesman Sam Yates says with a little proper planning, you can make sure your child’s backpack does the job it’s supposed to do without creating pain or other health issues.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a lightweight pack that doesn't add a lot of weight to your child's load. Yates gave the example that even though leather packs look cool, they weigh more than traditional canvas backpacks.
Two wide, padded shoulder straps; a padded back; and a waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body, are recommended. Multiple compartments can help distribute the weight more evenly.
Yates says because children are in the process of forming and building bones, it is very important to prevent spinal alignment problems. Experts say it is a good idea to make sure your child never carries a backpack that is 15% of their body weight or heavier.
Yates is reminding parents that a backpack with wheels might seem light a good idea, but says they're extremely difficult to pull up stairs and to roll through snow. Some schools also don't allow wheeled backpacks because they can pose a tripping hazard in the hallways.