TAMPA, Fla. — For many kids choosing the right backpack may be all about the design.
For parents, it also needs to be about making sure their children aren't going to hurt themselves.
Physical Therapist Gordon Wyman at Tampa General Hospital says the backpack should go from their shoulders to their hip bones and not past their belt line.
"A lot of times children will have the bag sag a little low causing them to arch their back causing stress on their spine," explains Wyman. "We ask kids try to engage their abdominals when they're carrying something heavy."
Here's some other advice to avoid back and neck issues when it comes to a backpack:
- Kids should only carry 10-15% of their body weight. For kindergartners, that is roughly 5 pounds. High schoolers that is about 10-15 pounds.
- Don't let the bags sag. It can put pressure on their neck or shoulders.
- Go through your kids' backpacks regularly so they are carrying only what they need.
When choosing a backpack, look for ones with the following:
- Wide shoulder straps
- Padded back
- Waist strap
For more backpack advice, click here.