Backpack Safety: 6 Tips Every Parent Should Know

Back to school means back to backpacks loaded with textbooks, notebooks, lunches and, well, whatever else your child deems necessary.

Backpacks are helpful when carrying items to and from school and from one class to another, but when worn improperly, they can also do harm.

We know children like to choose the coolest backpack, but it is important to help them choose one that is also safe and the correct size.

After you’ve chosen the perfect backpack, share the tips below with your child to ensure your he or she wears it properly.

Six Ways to Wear a Backpack Safely
  1. Pack light. The backpack should be a comfortable weight. Weigh it on a scale. When full, it shouldn’t be more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  2. Only carry what’s needed. Make sure your child knows not to carry a whole day’s books and supplies at once. Tell him or her to make trips to his or her locker during the day.
  3. Use care when putting on and taking off the backpack. Your child should avoid twisting too much. When picking up a heavy backpack, your child should bend with both knees, not at the waist.
  4. Use both straps on both shoulders. This is to help spread the weight and promote good posture. Tell your child not to sling both straps over one shoulder. This makes posture off-balance. It can even lead to a curved spine.
  5. Position the backpack evenly in the middle of the back. The backpack should sit two inches above the waist. This will help prevent awkward postures.
  6. Tighten and loosen the straps as needed. The straps should be snug when your child is wearing the pack. This helps hold the pack firmly to the body. He or she should then loosen the straps before removing the pack. This makes it easier to take off.

How GMC Can Help
With back to school come sports physicals, check-ups and immunization updates. At the Strickland Family Medicine Center we offer all of these for the whole family. Visit us online to learn more, or call 678-312-0400 for an appointment.


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