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Choosing a Backpack

Health Articles |
Categories: Pediatrics
Backpack Safety

Going back to school means picking out school supplies: pencils, notebooks, and, most importantly, a backpack! Here is some advice for parents and kids when it comes to buying a backpack and using it during the school day.

Advice for Parents

  • Buy a lightweight backpack. School supplies are heavy and the older your child gets, the more they will have to carry. Finding a pack that is lightweight is crucial so as not to add to their load.
  • Padded shoulder straps. Padded and straps are the two key words here. A messenger or tote bag may seem like stylish alternatives to the typical backpack style, but they put all of the weight on one shoulder. A backpack with two straps helps to take the pressure off one shoulder and distribute it to two. Padded straps also prevent digging into shoulders.
  • Multiple pockets. Rather than getting a pack that includes one large pocket, look for one with multiple compartments to evenly allocate the weight.
  • Padded back. A padded back prevents sharp objects from poking kids in the back and also provides extra comfort.
  • Lighten the load. Check your child's backpack to see how much it weighs with their typical school supplies. It should be no more than five to ten percent of their body weight.

Advice for Kids

  • Use your locker or desk. Rather than carrying a full backpack all day, put the books and notebooks you do not need into your desk and locker and visit them frequently throughout the day to get what you need.
  • Do not carry unnecessary items. Leave your laptop and games at home if you do not need them during the school day. Only bring home the books you absolutely need for homework and studying.
  • Put heavy items in the back. Putting your heaviest textbooks closest to the center of your back helps to prevent yourself from feeling a pull backward.
  • Wear both back and waist straps. By only wearing one strap, you are straining the muscles in your back unnecessarily.
  • Rolling backpacks. If you find that you must carry a heavy load of books, consider a rolling backpack. It will take the strain off your shoulders and is much easier on your body.

Find a Pediatrician

About Pediatric Services

Doylestown Health is committed to providing family-centered children's services to Bucks and Montgomery County communities.  The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center offers expert inpatient care to all ages including infants, children and teens. Della Penna Pediatric Center Services extend beyond the hospital setting to include health and wellness education, nutrition services and other support services.

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