Backpack is an essential part of the daily things carried by any child while going to school. This is used by a child to carry his books and other necessary things when he goes to school. In addition to books and a spare article of clothing, it often contains his lunch box and water bottle. This results in it becoming quite heavy. Improper bag or improper handling could result in muscular injury to the child and the child may start to suffer from back ache or some other muscles could get strained.
When you decide to buy a backpack for your kid, do not go by fancy looks. A number of styles of backpacks are available in the market. These are of different shapes and sizes with fancy colors. Look for the backpack which is handy and has adjustable straps which can be adjusted to suit your child. The material with which the bag is made should be light in weight so that after your child puts in his things for school; it should not get too heavy, straining your child.
In addition to the material with which the backpack is made, straps also play a major part in providing comfort to the child. The straps should be wide as narrow straps will dig into the shoulders of the child. Many packs have padded straps which can be adjusted at the places necessary. The child can adjust them and place them where the straps pinch. These will provide added comfort.
A backpack generally has compartments for books, stationery, lunch box and water bottle. Before buying one for your child properly check the sizes of each compartment so that the books etc can fit properly in the bag. The compartment for stationery should be such that pencil or other sharp items should not hurt the child. As a general rule fully loaded backpack should not weigh more than 15% of the weight of the child. Heavy bags could cause damage to vertebrae and discs of the spine.
These days backpacks with wheels are available in the market. These are just smaller versions of luggage bags we use while traveling. These can provide added comfort to the child as he will be able to pull this bag when tired of moving around with the backpack being carried on the back. However it is difficult to carry if the classroom is upstairs. Check with the school policy on such bags. Some schools do not allow wheel bags in school as these could pose a tripping hazard in passages.
The bag should be such that it adds to the personality of your child. Generally there are different styles of bags for boys and girls. If the bag does not suit your child other children in school may tease him and the child may even show reluctance of going to school.
After you have purchased a backpack which is otherwise perfect next is teaching the child how to carry it safely and comfortably. If the child hangs the bag on the shoulder or if the weight is not balanced and evenly distributed the child is bound to strain the muscles. For maximum comfort the bag should be on both the shoulders of the child. Bag is hung on the back with straps crossing the chest on both shoulders. This way the weight will be evenly distributed avoiding injury to back, shoulders and neck. The straps should be adjusted in a manner that the bag is in the middle of the back with the lower end of the bag on the buttocks.
Check things in your child’s school bag: Generally small kids are in the habit of carrying unnecessary things to school. They will try to carry all books which will make the bag heavy. Check the school bag of the child and ensure that he does not carry unwanted things in the bag. Generally schools give homework of some subjects. Tell the child to bring home only those books which are necessary for day’s work this way the bag will remain light. The child should be told to keep his belongings in his desk in school and not to carry the bag on back for full day, if needed you can talk to the class teacher of the child.
In case your child complaints of back ache or other back problem do not ignore or indulge in self medication. Take the child to the doctor and show him the backpack, in case the doctor thinks that the pain is due to improper bag or improper adjustment or balance on back he can suggest remedial measures.