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How the right backpack can make a world of difference

It's time for parents and students to start thinking about school supplies. And it's even more important to make sure kids have the right bag to avoid possible health issues that come with the wrong backpack.

It's everything from the size and design to the number of compartments on the backpack. The right bag can be a big help while the wrong one can certainly hurt.

"It's just like a generic black backpack,” says Owen Numata.

"It's black with a red cross on it,” says Jaxon Blackford.

"It's a Spiderman backpack,” says Sarah Hailey.

School backpacks come in all shapes and sizes but some are definitely better for your student than others. Of course it needs to be big enough to carry what's needed for class.

"You need binders to keep you stuff and pens and pencils, erasers, that sort of stuff,” says Owen Numata.

But the National Safety Council recommends making sure the backpack is a good fit for your child. Start with an ergonomic design that's no bigger than your student's torso. Look for padding on the back and straps of the bag and extra hip and chest belts if you think they'll need help balancing a heavy load. 

A backpack with several compartments means the weight won't concentrate in one spot, making it easier to carry. And consider getting one with reflective material to make your child more visible. Parents can also work with kids to make sure they're not carrying more school supplies or books than necessary.

"They give you a lot of books and a lot of stuff to carry so that can be very taxing on your back and your shoulders and stuff,” says Sarah Hailey.

Back and shoulder issues are among the most common complaints associated with carrying a backpack. Health experts recommend students carry no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight in their backpack.


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