Your child may inform you that slinging that totally loaded backpack over one shoulder is cool, however it’s an invitation to injury.
Here is what health professionals say that you must know to avoid the muscle pain and posture problems that may end result from using a backpack incorrectly:
What to Buy
Choose a backpack with well-padded shoulder straps to help protect the shoulders and neck. These straps needs to be adjusted so the pack fits snugly against your child’s back. A pack hanging loosely from the back can pull a child backward and strain muscles.
Choose a smaller backpack for your youthful child. The backpack itself should be light in weight.
Consider a pack with a waist belt to help distribute the burden of the pack evenly.
Consider shopping for a pack on wheels, much like the carry-on valise used by airplane travelers. Warning: These carriers will not be for everyone, as they’re difficult to maneuver in snow, and up and down stairs. Some schools don’t allow them.
Find out how to Carry It Safely
A loaded backpack should weigh between 10 and 15% of a child’s body weight, in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics. For example, a child weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t carry more than 15 pounds.
Help your child be taught to carry the pack evenly weighted with straps over each shoulder. Place heavier items, like books, at the bottom and arrange different materials so that they won’t slide around in the backpack.
Encourage your child to check the contents each day and go away pointless items at dwelling or at school.
Show your child how you can bend on the knees when placing on a backpack. She shouldn’t bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy backpack.
Help your child be taught back-strengthening workout routines to build up the muscle tissues required to carry a backpack. A pediatrician, health professional or athletic trainer can counsel some proper exercises.
Encourage your child or teenager to inform you if he’s feeling back or neck pain, and get your pediatrician’s advice if he does.
Lighten the Load
Here are some alternate options to assist clear up the overloaded backpack syndrome. For starters, ditch the pack altogether and check out these creative approaches to saving your child’s posture and back.
Help your father or mother group raise money for a second set of books for each child, one to keep at house and the opposite to leave at school. Some schools are already doing this.
In case your child is in middle school or high school, talk to other mother and father and school officials about the possibility of initiating block scheduling, a system in which lessons meet for longer intervals on alternating days. Which means students take residence fewer books.
Discover out in case your school is experimenting with an Internet-primarily based curriculum or school materials on CD-ROMs, which can reduce down on the use of textbooks. See if there are ways you or other tech-savvy mother and father can help.
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