Parents: have you actually tried to carry that backpack your child takes to school every day? If so, you’re probably amazed and if not, you might want to give it a lift. Either way, here are some backpack tips for the start of another school year as reported by Better Homes and Gardens magazine courtesy Cincinnati orthopedic doctor, Eric Wall.
First off, be sure to choose the right backpack, not just the cheapest or the most popular. Make sure it has a padded back and wide, padded straps, as support is the key to a quality bag. Once you’ve selected a backpack, you’re all set to load it up, but be smart! It might be too late to buy a different backpack, but it’s not too late to pack it right.
A child’s backpack should weigh no more than 15 percent of their body weight and items inside should be distributed effectively. The bulk of what’s inside your child’s backpack should rest evenly in the middle of their back. Position the bag so the bottom is within four inches of the waist and stress how important it is to always use both straps. Place the heaviest items like heavy textbooks and laptops closest to the spine. Constantly lifting these surprisingly heavy school supplies can lead to muscle strain and even pulled back or leg muscles, so always bend at the knees, not the waist, and use your legs not your back to lift it up.
When it comes to choosing a school backpack and lifting it, be smart!