Why use Backpacks?
Different lessons, moving between classes, taking work home and bringing
it back to school are all good reasons for wearing a backpack.
Going camping, going out for the day, going to stay over at a friend’s
place, hiking in the country or even round the shops – a backpack
will hold everything you need and leave both hands free.
When backpacks can be dangerous
Yes, backpacks are great, but you do need to take a bit of care or they
could be dangerous.
- On the bus a backpack could knock into someone.
- When walking in crowds you could hurt someone if your backpack is really
full and heavy.
- Someone could fall over it if you haven’t put it under your seat
- It could fall on someone if it is on top of a locker or shelf at school.
- The straps could trip someone if they are sticking out from the bag.
- Not wearing them properly can hurt your back, neck and shoulders.
Using a backpack
- Always use both straps over the shoulders. Choose padded straps
so they don’t dig into the shoulders.
- Alter the straps so that the backpack fits up against the shoulders
and back when standing up straight.
- If you need to lean forward then the straps are not tight enough.
- Don’t have everything including the kitchen sink in there!
- Clean it out regularly – half dead lunches, mouldy apples etc.
are extra weight as well as germ factories!
- Only carry what is actually needed. Lockers, trays and desks are
for storing books that are not required all the time – be organized
and only carry what is needed in a backpack.
- Give a backpack a wash or wipe out at the end of a term. It will
look and smell better and it will last longer, too.
The most you should carry in a backpack is 10% to 15% of your body weight – so
if you are a little kid and you weigh 32kg, you should only be carrying
between 3 and 4kg of weight. Carrying more can be doing damage
to your back.
Headaches, backaches or tingling feelings in your arms or back may be
signs that the straps of the backpack need adjusting or you are carrying
too much weight.
School Nurses’ Office