Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When buying backpacks pick function over fashion

Overweight and ill-fitting backpacks are blamed for more than 7,000 injuries in emergency rooms across the country last year alone, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Backpacks can range from less than $10 to over $100. But a higher price doesn't necessarily mean a better backpack. It's all about proper fit.

"You want the pack to be securely on their back, distributing the weight. You would like it to be at least one to 2 inches above the waist," said Yellin-Mednick.

Look for backpacks with two wide-set, padded straps at the shoulders, and a waist strap for additional support. And when it's filled with books, a backpack weighing more than 15 percent of the child's body weight is too heavy.

To find out more about the safety of your child's backpack, click here.