GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) There’s a lot to remember when it comes to back to school shopping. But as seasoned parents know, all those supplies and lunchboxes have to go into a backpack, and that’s a heavy load for children to carry. We asked the experts at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to share their tips to make a child’s backpack easier to bear.
Wear it Right
A backpack is the best choice for kids and teens, rather than a messenger bag or shoulder sling, because it evenly distributes the weight across the back and abdomen. But children should always wear it using both shoulder straps.
Lighten the Load
Books and supplies can add up quickly. Doctors and physical therapists recommend kids should carry no more than ten to 15 percent of their body weight in a backpack. Empty the backpack each night to clear out any extra items that accumulate.
Don’t have your child’s name printed or monogrammed on the outside of the backpack. Strangers could use it to get the child’s attention. Label the backpack on the inside instead.
When shopping for a backpack, look for a lightweight bag with two wide, padded shoulder straps. The back should be padded, and the backpack should have a waist belt. Multiple compartments help distribute weight more evenly.