Tips for Proper Backpack Fitting and Use
We recommend that kids carry no more than 10% of their body weight in their backpacks: less is always better. For example, if your child weighs 100 lbs, they should carry no more than 10 lbs in their bags. To give you a better idea of what 10 lbs feels like, a large watermelon weighs close to 10 lbs.
Backpacks with tight, narrow straps can dig into shoulders and interfere with circulation, which can cause tingling, numbness, and weakness in the arms and hands. As well, many kids are not using their backpacks properly. Make sure they use both straps to help distribute the weight evenly and tighten straps, so the pack fits close to the body. The bag should rest in the middle of their back (not sag to buttocks) to help with weight distribution.
You also want to ensure the backpack is never broader or longer than the child’s torso and never hangs more than 4 inches below the waist. Remind your child to place heavier items close to the backpack’s centre to help with even weight distribution.
Features of a Good Backpack:
- Must be lightweight
- It has two wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back
- It comes equipped with a chest and waist belt, as this will help distribute the weight more evenly
- Has multiple compartments to distribute the load evenly