Back to school

Classes resume Aug. 11 for Wakulla County Public Schools. This youngster was heading back to class Aug. 12, 2019, at Shadeville Elementary School.

Students of all ages use backpacks. On top of choosing a model that’s well-suited to your child’s needs, you must ensure it’s used correctly to prevent back injuries. Here’s how:

Check the height. The backpack shouldn’t exceed your child’s shoulder height. It must also rest on the hips, not on the buttocks.

Adjust the shoulder straps. These straps carry most of the weight and must be adjusted to prevent friction between the material and your child’s neck. Moreover, they mustn’t cut off blood circulation under the arms. Your child must be able to move their arms freely.

Use other belts and straps. Use the various belts and straps to keep the bag close to the body while allowing enough room to slip a hand between your child’s back and the pack. Hip straps help distribute the bag’s weight and keep it securely in place.

Distribute weight evenly. The bag should sit on both shoulders and have a balanced weight to prevent injury. Store heavy objects as close as possible to the back and at the bottom of the bag. Distribute the weight evenly among the pockets and side nets.

If your child complains of pain or changes their gait while carrying their backpack, check its contents and adjust the straps. You might also consider a visit to a chiropractor.

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