Backpack Safety for Back to School

I can’t believe summer is over and it is time to get back to school. This week I wanted to talk about the importance of backpack safety and how we can prevent injury to our growing children. Even kids as young as elementary school age, can complain of neck, back and shoulder pain due to improper use or weight of their backpacks.

 Here are a few helpful tips to decrease the risk of backpack related injury.

  • The top of your backpack should sit just below the shoulders and bottom of the backpack should never hang more than 2 inches below the waist.
  • Place heavier items closest to your back. If you find yourself leaning forward to compensate for the weight, the back pack is too heavy and placing a lot on strain on your mid back. Backpacks should never be heavier than 10-15% of the child’s body weight.
  •  Don’t sling your backpack over one shoulder, urge your child to always use both straps.
  • Use the waist strap to help distribute the weight evenly.
  • Sometimes a rolling backpack is necessary. However, keep in mind they are not easy to roll through snow or up stairs which prompts the child to carry it.

Kerra Pietsch, LPTA, CFNC
Physical Therapist Assistant
Andover Physical Therapy

September 4th, 2019

Posted In: General

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