Back Pack Safety

Back pack safety: many kids are getting injuries and long term back problems from back packs that are too heavy.

Most kids carry their school books and supplies in a back pack. Many kids are getting injuries and long term back problems from back packs that are too heavy. Wearing a

back pack the wrong way can harm joints and muscles, cause back injuries and even lead to scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Here are some guidelines to prevent back problems.

In the elementary school years back pack weight is not usually an issue, except on specific days when they have a lot to carry. But in junior high and high school some

packs can weigh as much as 20 or 25 pounds. If a back pack is worn the wrong way damage can be done to the spine. Some packs are being designed so that the wearer will

not be able to wear it wrong.

Backpacks with wide straps and padding at the shoulders is a must. Thin straps can cut into the circulation in the shoulders which can cause weakness and tingling in the hands

over a period of time.

Instruct your child to wear both straps over the shoulders. Wearing just one shoulder strap to look "cool" will make you lean to one side. The uneven weight causes curvature of the spine this leads to scoliosis. Some back pack companies are making packs that have straps that cross over in front of the chest to allow full support and less pressure on the shoulders. Other back packs have a strap that goes around the waist and makes more of the weight rest on the hips to ease the pressure on the back and shoulders.

The best back pack to get if you have a lot of books and a lot of walking is a back pack on wheels with a retracting handle. Many companies make these back packs convertible,

you can pull them like a suit case or put them on your back as a back pack. These are very popular on college campuses.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the back pack lite, 10 to 20 percent of the wearers body weight.

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