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Backpack Safety Tips


Overloaded backpacks used by children have received a lot of attention from parents, doctors, school administrators and the media in the past several years. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of backpack-related injuries are treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and clinics each year. Injuries ranged from contusions, to sprains and strains to the back and shoulder, and fractures.

Tips for selecting a backpack

-Choose ergonomically designed features that enhance safety and comfort

-A padded back to reduce pressure on the back, shoulders and under arm regions, and enhance comfort

-Hip and chest belts to transfer some of the backpack weight from the back and shoulders to the hips and torso

-Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight in the backpack, keep items secure, and ease access to the contents

-Compression straps on the sides or bottom of the backpack to stabilize the articles and compress the contents so that the items are as close to the back as possible

-Reflective material to enhance visibility of the child to drivers at night

Tips for Safe Backpack Use

-Wear both straps

-Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles

-Use proper lifting techniques

-Bend at the knees and use your legs to lift the backpack, placing one shoulder strap on at a time.

Warning signs a backpack is too heavy

-Change in posture when wearing the backpack

-Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack

-Pain when wearing the backpack

-Tingling or numbness

-Red marks


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