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Choosing the Right Backpack for Your Child

As your child progresses in school, their backpacks get heavier and heavier. Once your child enters middle school, they have to carry everything from textbooks to notebooks to sports supplies. But can a heavy backpack pose serious health risks for your child? Here are just a few health issues that come with children carrying a heavy backpack:

  • Frequent cause of back pain
  • Frequent cause of hunching and rolling their shoulders
  • Sore hips from bending over to compensate for the excess weight
  • Knee pain can occur because of a change of walking patterns
  • Creates strain in shoulders

How to Avoid Injury from Carrying Heavy Backpack

back to school backpack safety

With the variety of backpack options available, it can be difficult to pick the best one. In order to make the best decision, follow these helpful tips:

  • Watch the weight of the backpack – A child shouldn’t carry a backpack that is more than 15 to 20 percent of their body weight
  • The thicker the shoulder straps, the better – Thick shoulder straps prevent straps from digging into the shoulders, back and neck, which can prevent future injury
  • Look at waist straps – Waist straps are beneficial to distribute weight properly and add extra support
  • Make sure both straps are used – Enforce your child using both straps to avoid stress on the spine
  • The bottom should rest on the lower part of the back – Some backpacks hang to the buttocks, but it’s important that your child’s backpack rests on their lower back.
  • Look at wheels – Try to find a backpack with wheels to reduce the strain on your child’s back. Keep in mind that some wheeled backpacks don’t fit into lockers, but they’re the best option if you can find a small one.

It’s important to watch for problems throughout the school year to make sure your child’s backpack isn’t causing issues. If you’re noticing red marks on your child’s back, it may mean the fit of the backpack isn’t right. If your child is complaining about back pain or numbness/tingling, it’s a sign of a nerve compression.

Contact us at (888) 227-3762 if your child is suffering from back pain caused by a heavy backpack.