Choosing the Right Backpack
Start by purchasing the backpack that will distribute the weight most efficiently. Remember -- bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry, and the heavier the backpack will be. Look for these characteristics when choosing a backpack:
- Two shoulder straps: A backpack with only one shoulder strap that goes around the neck does not distribute weight evenly.
- Wide, padded shoulder straps: Narrow straps can dig into the shoulders and hinder your child's circulation.
- Adjustable shoulder straps: The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child's body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
- Padded back: This prevents sharp objects from digging into your child's back and possibly altering his posture.
- Waist strap: A waist strap takes even more weight off the shoulders.
- Lightweight: Make sure that the backpack itself doesn't add too much weight to the load.
- Individualized compartments: Distributing the items into separate compartments can help in positioning the contents most effectively.