Back to School Backpack Safety for Kids and Teens

how to wear a backpack

Does your child’s backpack feel like it weighs 50 pounds? It’s amazing how kids manage to carry heavy backpacks around all day.

Unfortunately, books, binders, notebooks, and other supplies create quite a load for little ones to carry. This can lead to backpack injury, including back, neck, and shoulder pain.

If your child is feeling the effects of school backpack weight, there are things you can do to help prevent injury.

Here’s a look at how to wear a backpack.

Correct Size

The biggest backpack is not always the best choice for your child. The more room in their backpack, the more kids will stuff in them.

Make sure the backpack you buy for your child fits their size and their needs. A child’s backpack should be in proportion to their height.

Broad, Padded Shoulder Straps

Kids need backpacks with adjustable straps that help distribute weight between the shoulders. Extra padding does not always mean less pain.

The key is balance. The straps should be even in length and have some padding. Non-padded straps tend to dig into a child’s shoulders and cause pain or discomfort.

Padded Back

You want the part of the backpack that touches your child’s back to be padded. This provides comfort and protects them from being poked with pencils, pens, rulers, or other sharp objects inside the backpack.

Belts, Straps, and Compartments

Waist belts and chest straps help distribute the weight of the backpack evenly across the body. Having multiple inside and outside compartments allows for better weight distribution of contents throughout the backpack.

When it’s time to choose a backpack, keep these features in mind. Include your child in the process. Have them try on backpacks to find one that feels comfortable and fits their body.

Packing a Backpack

The way you pack a backpack affects its comfort level and can decrease backpack injury. Most of the weight should rest along the curve of the lower back.

Pack heavy items like computers and textbooks close to the body and place smaller items on the right and left sides. Pack the smallest items in pockets and compartments for better weight distribution.

Backpack Safety Tips

Starting the year off by following some backpack safety tips may help your child avoid back and neck pain. Some school backpack tips include:

  • Backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 15% of your child’s weight
  • A 100-pound child should have a backpack that weighs 15 pounds or less
  • If your child must lean forward to carry their pack, it’s too heavy

To lighten the load for your child, encourage them to:

  • Clean out their backpack and remove unneeded items
  • Store supplies in a locker when possible
  • Use a rolling backpack if they’re having back or neck pain
  • See a chiropractor or doctor if the pain persists

How to Wear a Backpack

It’s amazing how heavy kids’ backpacks are these days. Many kids are carrying backpacks that are too big and too full.

Make sure your child has a backpack that fits their body and knows how to wear a backpack for comfort. If your child is experiencing ongoing pain, chiropractic care may be a good option.

Dr. Ty of East Valley Chiropractic would love to help your family with all of their chiropractic needs.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.