(HealthDay News) -- Your child's backpack may be incredibly handy and reflect a personal sense of style.
It should also be functional and help protect your child's back, the Nemours Foundation says.
If a backpack is poorly worn or too heavy, it can strain muscles and joints and cause back pain.
Doctors recommend that kids keep backpacks filled to no more than 15 percent of their body weight, the foundation says. Both straps should be used to help distribute weight evenly.
The foundation suggests looking for these features in a child's backpack:
- Lightweight: Get a pack that doesn't add a lot of weight to your child's load.
- Wide, padded straps: Straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders.
- Padded back: Provides extra comfort while protecting kids from being poked by sharp objects inside the pack.
- Waist belt: Helps distribute weight evenly across the body.
- Multiple compartments: These help distribute weight throughout the pack.