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Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you to choose the right backpack.
- Wide Padded Shoulder Straps – Narrow straps can dig into shoulders, cause pain, and restrict circulation.
- Two Shoulder straps – Packs with only one strap that run across the body cannot distribute weight evenly.
- Padded Back – A padded back protects against sharp edges on objects in the pack.
- Waist Strap – This can distribute the weight of a heavy load.
- Lightweight – The backpack itself should not add much weight to the load.
- Rolling backpack – This may be a good choice for students, but remember that rolling backpacks must be carried up stairs and may be difficult to roll in the snow.
To prevent injury, the AAP recommends the following:
- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a pack over one shoulder will cause undue strain.
- Tighten the pack so that it is close to the body. The straps should hold the pack two inches above the waist.
- Pack light. The pack should never be more than 15% of the student's body weight.
- Organize the pack to use all of its compartments, packing heavier items closest to the body.
- Stop often at school lockers when possible.
- Bend using both knees. Do not bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy back pack.
- Teach your child some back strengthening exercises to build up muscles used to carry the pack.
Check out the links below for more information about backpack safety!
- Kid's Health - General Health information for parents, teens, and children
- PA's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Sports concussion information - For parents whose child suffered a concussion
- American Academy of Pediatrics - dedicated to the health and well being of children
Color Vision Deficiency
- Color Blind Awareness - General information with picture examples of color vision deficiency
- Color Blindness - What is color blindness?
Children with Chronic Health Conditions
- Congenital Heart Information Network - For families of a child with congenital heart disease
- Children With Diabetes - Online community for kids, families, and adults with Diabetes
- CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
- Food Allergy Research and Education - Food and Allergy Anaphylaxis Network
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders - For those with Gastroesophogeal Disease
- National Scoliosis Foundation - General information and resources on Scoliosis
- MedlinePlus - sponsored by the National Institute of Health