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HOW TO SELECT A BACK PACK


Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized. Some manufacturers offer special child-sized versions for children ages 5-10. These packs weigh less than a pound and have shorter back lengths and widths, so they do not slip around on the back.

Consider more than looks when choosing a backpack. An ill-fitting pack can cause back pain, muscle strain, or nerve impingement. You want to have padded shoulder straps to avoid pressure on the nerves around the armpits. Some backpacks have waist straps designed to stabilize the load. These should be used whenever possible.

The proper maximum weight for loaded backpacks should not exceed 15% of the child's body weight. For example, an 80-pound child should not carry more than 12 pounds in a pack. If the pack forces the carrier to bend forward, it is overloaded.

In loading, it is obvious that excessive backpack weight can cause problems. Prioritizing the pack's content is very important. Avoid loading unnecessary items. It is important to balance the weight of the contents or the body shifts into unnatural postures to compensate.

Often ignored is the act of lifting and positioning the pack. Lifting 20 pounds improperly can cause damage.

Use both shoulder straps and stabilizing waist strap around the waist. Make them snug but not too tight. Avoid carrying the backpack on one shoulder. While fashionable, this can cause long-term neck, shoulder, back, and postural problems.

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