• Lighten the Load to Prevent Injury

    September 17, 2019

    Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. Wearing them in the wrong way can also result in unnecessary strain.

    Follow these tips to boost safety and comfort:

    • Select a backpack with well-padded shoulder straps. Tighten the straps so that the backpack is close to the body.

    • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back.

    • Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps to distribute weight evenly. Packs with hip belts give even more support.

    • Load lighter and sharper items furthest away from the child's back.

    Parents should work with their children to make sure they are carrying as little as possible. Check what your child carries then decide which items are needed.


    A child's backpack should not weigh more than 10 percent of their body weight. A student weighing 100 pounds shouldn't wear a backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. Heavy backpacks can cause falls and back pain.

    Source: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.