Backpack Safety 101

Written by Dr. Stiles

The creation of the back pack was wonderful; they are fun, stylish, and if worn improperly can wreak havoc on your body.  Don’t get me wrong, they are practical and effective in that you can carry things in a sack on your back to make your arms more readily available.  But do we honestly know when enough is enough in terms of back pack poundage?

Back pain due to overweight backpacks is becoming more prevalent according to the American Chiropractic Association.  This trend is continually growing due to the amount of books children are required to take to and from school every day.

Here are some tips for back pack safety recommended by the American Chiropractic Association1:

  1. Limit your child’s backpack weight to no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight.  More weight induces a forward posture that redirects the weight to the back as opposed to the shoulders.
  2. Encourage your child to wear their backpack using both straps.  While wearing only one strap is stylish, it causes a disproportionate shift in weight to one side, which could result in muscle spasms and neck and back pain.


  1. Choose a backpack with wide padded straps to support the shoulders.  The straps should be adjustable.aae84d858841f440f4547f5509786e33-231x3004. Choose a backpack that is size appropriate for your child.  The backpack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waist. Keep in mind that  the more room inside the backpack, the more the child will pack, making the load much heavier.

If you notice your child having pain or discomfort associated with backpack use, please consider getting a chiropractic evaluation.



Pictures from Pinterest and Google