Hear It. See It. Speak It: Weight of Backpacks
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, by now you must know how much we care about product safety. In a world where even seemingly harmless everyday items can threaten children, we exist to provide your family with a safe trampoline alternative, Springfree Trampoline.
Backpacks are a fixture on children’s backs from the first day of kindergarten until graduation day. Here’s the startling truth: close to 28,000 people were treated in hospitals for backpack-related injuries like strains, sprains, dislocations and fractures in 2010, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
A recent Australian study revealed the following statistics:
- 79% of children say their backpack feels heavy
- 66% of children report fatigue caused by weight of their backpack
- 46% of children report back pain caused by weight of their backpack
Springfree parents were very vocal on this topic. An overwhelming majority expressed concern about the weight of their children’s backpacks. Some of you gave alarming testimonials:
“I routinely weigh my petite 11 year old’s back pack. She is 75 lbs and soaking wet, her backpack averages about 25 pounds. I hate it!” – Kelly
“[Last year, my son] was a 6th grader, barely 68 lbs and with his backpack packed, trumpet in hand for band and lunchbox he stepped on the scale and weighed in at 102 lbs! I was LIVID! A 34 lb gain in STUFF for school.” – Joy
As a rule of thumb, a child should not carry more than 10-15% of his or her body weight.
A number of Springfree parents also identified textbooks as the main cause of heavy backpacks. Some tips to lighten the textbook load include: bringing textbooks home only when necessary, photocopying relevant pages or keeping a second set of textbooks at home.
When choosing backpacks, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommend that you pay attention to the following features:
- Shoulder straps should be wide and padded. Opt for double shoulder straps over single shoulder straps to evenly distribute backpack weight.
- Padded back and waist straps provide extra support and comfort.
- Lightweight backpacks made of canvas (instead of leather) reduce the overall weight.
- Rolling backpacks with wheels are also great options.
Backpacks don’t have to be a pain in the back. Be proactive and have a conversation with your child today about backpack safety.
What other tips do you have to lighten the weight of your children’s backpacks?
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