With back to school upon us, it’s time to start thinking about having the right backpack to keep
your child healthy & pain free. Carrying around a backpack that is too heavy or improperly fit
can put your child at risk for an injury to their neck, back or shoulders. So we’ve put together
some tips to help decrease the risk and make the school year a little less stressful.
Make sure that your child isn’t carrying too much by limiting the weight of their backpack to 10-
15% of their total body weight. For example, an 80lb child should have a backpack that weighs
no more than 8-12lbs when full.
It’s also important to keep in mind proper weight distribution in the backpack. Keep the
heaviest items closer to your child’s back to allow for more support and prevent items from
sliding around as they carry their bags.
Additionally, going through their backpack either nightly or weekly in order to remove any
unnecessary items will help limit unwanted weight from accumulating.
Backpacks come in all different sizes and making sure your child has the right size pack for them
is very important. The backpack should fit snuggly on your child’s back, while the bottom of the
backpack should end a couple inches above their waist. If the bag hangs too low or too loose it
can result in back or neck strain.
Furthermore, purchasing a backpack with well-padded shoulder straps will also help decrease
the pressure felt on their shoulders. However, this is only helpful if they are wearing the
backpack on both shoulders evenly.
Waist straps can help distribute some of the weight from the back to the waist and prevent
poor posture under load. Meanwhile, padded backs can provide even more comfort and
support. These added features should be considered if your child has a longer commute to
school or needs to be carrying a backpack toward the top end of their recommended weight
Finally, if your child has started to complain about back, neck or shoulder pain as a result of
wearing their backpack it would be advised to book an assessment with one of our practitioners
to help resolve the aches and pains quickly allowing them to just keep being a kid!
Dr. Livia Chiarelli
Doctor of Chiropractic
Please direct any questions about the article or any chiropractor questions to email@example.com