Don’t Over Pack That Backpack
A child carrying a back pack that has been overloaded can easily lead to an injury. Here are some interesting facts:
- In 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 5415 backpack related injuries were treated in the Emergency Room.
- The average student has a pain scale level of 4.3 with some reaching an 8-9, as reported by Northeastern University.
- 55% of students carry an overloaded backpack, as reported by Simmons College.
- An Auburn University study showed that 67% of children suffered muscle soreness, 51% back pain, 24% numbness and 15% shoulder pain.
5 Ways to ease the load
- Backpack weight should only be 10-15% of the child’s weight.
- Opt for wide padded straps, a padded back, waist and chest straps.
- Backpack should fit snugly against the child’s body.
- Pack should hang just below the shoulders with no more than 4 inches below the waistline (Where the BELLY BUTTON is).
- Pack heavier items at the bottom with flat objects against the back, keep pointy objects away from the body.
3 Warning signs that the backpack is too heavy
- You child changes posture when wearing a backpack
- Your child’s skin has red marks on back or shoulders
- Difficulty putting on or taking off a backpack