Think Safety When Picking, Packing Backpacks

Improper use of backpacks can lead to muscle and joint injury, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems. With back to school shopping underway, we want you to make sure you select a backpack that’s not only stylish but also safe for your child to carry their books and supplies.

Is Your Child’s Backpack Any Good?

When choosing a backpack, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests these features:

  • A lightweight backpack with wide, padded shoulders
  • Two shoulder straps
  • A padded back
  • Waist strap

A rolling backpack might be a good choice for heavy loads, but they may be hard to roll during Wisconsin winters and carried up stairs.

Backpack Safety Tips

  • Always use both shoulder straps and tighten them so the pack is close to the body and held two inches above the waist.
  • A loaded backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 10 – 20 percent of the child’s body weight.
  • Heavy books and supplies should be packed closest to the center of the back.
  • Teach kids to bend using both knees when wearing or lifting a heavy backpack, instead of bending at the waist.
  • Back-strengthening exercises can help build strong muscles to bear heavy backpacks.
  • Make frequent stops at lockers to avoid carrying all the books needed for the day.

More Information

If you or your child experiences muscle and joint injury or neck and shoulder pain, schedule an appointment with an expert at Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital.