School Bag Safety Tips for Kids of All Ages
Backpacks are a popular and practical way for children and teenagers to carry school books and supplies. They are designed to distribute the weight of the school supplies among some of the body's strongest muscles. When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day.
Being loaded down with textbooks and school supplies can make backpacks heavy and hard to wear. If they're not worn properly, backpacks may cause back, neck and shoulder pain in children and teens. While backpacks have not been shown to cause scoliosis or long-term problems, it's never too early to start good habits that can decrease back strain and pain.
Tips for Proper Use of Backpacks
As the amount of homework students are given continues to rise, so does the number of books and supplies they are required to carry from school to home. Backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.
Although they are linked to posture problems, heavy backpacks do not cause scoliosis. Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine that often shows up in children during adolescence. The following guidelines can help your family use backpacks safely and Choosing the Right Backpack.
When choosing a backpack, look for one that is appropriate for the size of your child. In addition, look for some of the following features:
- Wide, padded shoulder straps
- Two shoulder straps
- Padded back
- Waist strap
- Lightweight backpack
- Rolling backpack
School Bag Safety Tips for Parents
Parents can help ensure their child's safety by doing the following:
- Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about any numbness, tingling, or discomfort in the arms or legs. These symptoms may indicate poor backpack fit or too much weight being carried.
- Watch your child put on and take off the backpack to see if it is a struggle. If the backpack seems too heavy, have your child remove some of the books and carry them in his or her arms to ease the load on the back.
- Do not ignore any back pain in a child or teenager.
- Talk to the school about lightening the load. Team up with other parents to encourage changes.
- Encourage your child to stop at his or her locker when time permits throughout the day to drop off or exchange heavier books.
- If your child has back pain that does not improve, consider buying a second set of textbooks to keep at home.
How to know if your child's backpack is too heavy;
One of the main School Bag safety tips is to keep a check on your children's school bag weight and ensure that School bag weight is not more than their capacity.
- Backpacks shouldn't weigh more than 15% of your child's body weight. This means a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn't have a backpack that weighs more than 15 pounds.
- If your child needs to lean forward to support the backpack's weight, then it's too heavy. Consider using a backpack with handles or a rolling backpack if your school allows it.
To help keep lighten the load, encourage your child to:
- Clean the backpack weekly and take out unneeded items.
- Store items in a locker when possible.
- Take only what's needed to school.
TOP 10 TIPS TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD OF YOUR CHILD’S BACKPACK:
While talking about the school bag safety tips here is the list which you can easily follow:
- In a study The American Physical Therapy Association suggests that the recommended weight limit of a backpack should be 15-20% of a child’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 50 pounds, then the backpack should be no more than 10 pounds (Make certain that the weight in the backpack does not cause your child to lean forward. This is a sign that the backpack is too heavy).
- Weight distribution plays a vital role in school bag safety. Once you have the correct weight in your child’s backpack make sure it is distributed evenly. Always pack heavy items at the bottom to ensure that the heaviest load is carried lower and closer to your child’s core area.
- Make sure the backpack has padded shoulder straps and backside. You don’t want the straps digging into their shoulder or back.
- Tighten Up is the key element in Backpack safety. Always adjust the straps so that the backpack fits close to the body but be careful they are not so tight they pull on the shoulders.
- Use both shoulder straps. Carrying the backpack over one shoulder forces other back muscles to compensate for the uneven weight distribution, causing the spine to lean to the opposite side. With time, this muscle imbalance will cause muscle strain and back pain. Neck muscles can also be affected, which oftentimes leads to increased neck pain and headaches.
- School bag placement should be correct. The rule of thumb is that the bottom of the backpack should be 2-3 inches above the waist, while the top of the backpack should be below the neck.
- Select a backpack that has compartments to ensure better organization. Better organization will allow your child to eliminate unnecessary items. But beware! Just because there are lots of pockets doesn’t mean you have to stuff them chock full with everything but the kitchen sink!
- Monitor the clutter. Kids tend to accumulate items in their backpacks without realizing it. Take the time to go through the contents of their backpack weekly and eliminate items that are not necessary.
- Place sharp or odd-shaped items in the front section of the backpack to avoid direct contact with your child’s back.
- Lift with the legs. Make sure your child lifts the backpack using his or her leg muscles and avoids bending the back.
Health Tips for Backpack Safe
The correct choice of a school bag, especially a backpack, and matching it to the child’s dimensions is important to the child’s spinal health.
Selecting the schoolbag
- A bag must be as large as the child’s back, and no larger.
- A bag with broad, padded adjustable shoulder straps.
- A bag with breathing mesh back padding.
- A bag with multiple pouches, which enables distribution of the weight of the books and the notebooks.
- Light reflecting strips on the body of the bag to increase the child’s safety after dark.
Carrying the schoolbag
- Make sure that the shoulder straps are of equal length, to enable division of the weight to both shoulders.
- Make sure that the main weight of the bag is centered around the center of the child’s back, and not against the pelvis.
- Make sure that the child carries the bag strapped over both shoulders.
- Explain to the child that books must be stored in the pouch closest to the child’s back.
- Explain that he should report any occurrence of back pains, shoulder or neck pains.
Preventing bag overweight
- It is recommended to inquire with the school whether there is a possibility to use lockers for the children, to avoid unnecessary carrying of the books to and from.
- Guide the child to carry only the materials necessary for the given school day.
- Guide the child to store at home or in a locker at school any school materials not needed for the specific day.
- Make sure that the loaded bag does not weigh more than 15% of the child’s weight.
Trolley bag - yes or no?
A trolley bag does not get carried on the child’s back, however it is heavier. It is suitable if the route to school is clear of obstacles or potholes, and if the walking distance is long. Since such a bag is heavy when lifted, the trolley bag is not suitable for scaling stairs and for transporting over rough terrain.
Choosing the right school bag for your 6-year-old child entering first grade is an important and exciting step to start his school trip. It's not just a purchase; It's a decision that reflects your family's individuality, needs and values. This article has guided you through every aspect of that decision, with the School bag safety tips that should be considered and preparing for day one.
Discover our collection of ideal school bags for your child and start this new adventure with confidence. Our team of experts is here to help you with school bag safety tips at every step of the way, ensuring that you and your child will find the perfect companion for this great back-to-school. Your young learner's academic future starts here, and it starts with the right school bag.