Back to School Backpack Safety

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.

  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight. Go through the pack with your child weekly, and remove unneeded items to keep it light.

  • Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.

  • Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist.

  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried upstairs, they may be difficult to roll in the snow, and they may not fit in some lockers. And review backpack safety with your child.

Last Updated 6/8/2018
Source American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2017)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

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