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Backpack Safety

With the kids going back to school over the next week, I figured I would share some backpack safety tips for the school season. It seems as though in the past decade, children’s backpacks have become more and more heavy and possibily harmful to their spine. So to help prevent your child from having a possible injury, simply follow these easy steps!

  • Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child. The proper size of a backpack is equal to 75% of your child’s back, meaning the space between the waste and the shoulder blades.
  • A child’s backpack weight should never exceed 15% of their body weight according to The Congress of Chiropractic State Association. So this little chart should be helpful.
    50 pound child                                            backpack should weigh no more than 7.5 pounds
    80 pound child                                            backpack should weigh no more than 12 pounds
    100 pound child                                          backpack should weigh no more than 15 pounds
    130 pound child                                          backpack should weigh no more than 19.5 pounds
    150 pound child                                          backpack should weigh  no more than 22.5 pounds
  • Choose  a backpack with padded shoulder straps that sit on both shoulders. Backpacks with one strap such as messenger bags distribute all the weight on one shoulder instead of evenly on both shoulders. Also, backpacks without padded shoulder straps can cause pressure on the nerves that surround the child’s armpits.

When it comes to lifting and applying the backpack onto the child there are steps that you should follow to ensure there is no injury in lifting the weight.

  1. Face the backpack before lifting it.
  2. Bend at the knees.
  3. Using both of your hands, check the weight of the backpack.
  4. Lift with the legs, and not your back.
  5. Apply one shoulder strap at a time. Never sling the backpack onto one shoulder and avoid swinging the backpack.
  6. Use both shoulder straps at all times. Make them snug but not too tight. Carrying on one shoulder can cause long-term neck, shoulder, back, and postural problems like I discussed above.
  7. Use the stabilizing waste strap if the backpack has one present.
  8. Look for signs that backpack is poorly fitted or overloaded on a daily basis. A couple signs that the backpack is overloaded or not being worn properly is pain, red marks from the straps, or poor posture.

Thank you to Jenkin’s Chiropractic for providing this material for back to school safety.

Source :  ICPA4kids. The article was contributed by The Founders of Backpack Safety America International TM. Visit them at

The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) endourses the use of Air Pack brand backpacks which are available at

I hope everyone has a great, happy, healthy, and safe back to school week!
Leave some comments with your favorite back to school story!

Categories: General
Danielle Elwood

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