September is right around the corner, and if you have kids at home, you’re most likely getting ready for the 2015-2016 school year.

As a father of three school-aged boys, I know that kids can come home with quite a bit in their backpacks. Carrying too much on your back can result in poor posture, back pain, and numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. If these issues are not dealt with properly, they can eventually lead to bigger problems.

In the spirit of the upcoming school year, I’ve put together some backpack tips and guidelines for you and your children to read before the first day of school. Keep these tips in mind when you’re shopping for backpacks and loading them up throughout the year.

1. When selecting a backpack, choose one that has wide, padded, adjustable shoulder straps. A chest or waist belt, which provides extra support, is an added bonus.

2. A backpack shouldn’t be wider than your child’s shoulders or taller than his or her shoulders when sitting.

3. Make sure your child wears the straps on both shoulders so one side of the body doesn’t have to carry all the weight.

4. Backpack contents should be no more than 10-15% of his/her body weight. No one should carry more than 25 pounds in a backpack.

If you find that your child is coming home with a backpack that is way too heavy for him or her, don’t be afraid to talk to your child’s teacher. Work together to figure out a way to “lighten their load.”
Wishing you and your family a healthy and successful school year!