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Health Tip: Choose the Right Backpack

- Children can suffer bruises, muscle stiffness and strains from backpacks that are too heavy or are worn improperly.

The U.S. National Safety Council makes these recommendations when selecting a backpack for your child:

  • Choose a backpack designed for safety and comfort, with padding in the back and shoulders.
  • A backpack should have belts that strap around the hips and chest for extra support.
  • Look for pockets and compartments inside the backpack to more evenly distribute the weight across the back.
  • Look for a backpack with straps on the sides or bottom to compress the contents, so that items are as close to the back as possible
  • Look for a backpack with reflective stripes for increased visibility at night.
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Posted: March 2008