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Every child seems to have a backpack these days, from the smallest toddler going off to daycare to the tallest teen heading for high school.  Manufacturers dazzle us with the colors, special features, such as extra pockets, and gizmos, like attachable water bottles.  Our children clamor for one and we lovingly oblige.

What we, the parents, need to remember are the precautions we should take for our child’s safety.  In today’s societal climate, securing our child’s well-being is first and foremost.  This includes providing a safe backpack.

While we may want to label everything that our children own, it is important to place the labels or identification in a non-visible location.  For example, rather than place our child’s name on the outside of the backpack, we need to place it on the inside.  In this way, strangers will not be able to see his or her name, call out to them, and give the appearance of knowing our child by name.

Steps must be taken, as well, to secure our child’s physical safety.  Many backpacks have straps that extend along the back of the bag.  It is important to trim the straps so that they do not hang freely from the backpack.  This will prevent the straps becoming trapped in the closed door of a vehicle- bus or car.  If you think it can’t happen, think again.  I have personally seen another parent’s child dragged along the road because their backpack strap became trapped in the car door.  Fortunately, the child was okay.

Finally, be sure that the backpack is the appropriate size for the child.  The larger the bag, the more things the child will stuff into it.  A backpack that is too large for a child may cause him to lose his balance.  Likewise, the backpack needs to be large enough for the items that the child will need to carry.  If the backpack is too small, the child’s hands will no longer be free for other things, like opening doors.

Taking into consideration all of the above will lead to a useful backpack and a happy child.  Replace the backpack as needed.