Backpack Safety

The time has come! Back to school morning madness when we race to get our children out the door and to the bus stop on time!

This year take a minute and make sure that your child’s backpack is not too heavy. The percentage of childhood neck and back pain has significantly increased over the past decade as a result of heavy poor fitting backpacks. This can affect posture and muscle imbalances for the long term.

If your child is complaining of back and neck pain, check to see if they are following these simple backpack safety guidelines:

  • If your child’s backpack is forcing them to bend forward, then they are carrying too much weight. The maximum weight of a loaded backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the carrier’s bodyweight. Have your child eliminate any unnecessary items from their backpack.
  • Be selective when purchasing a backpack, take size into consideration, a kindergartner should not be wearing the same size backpack as a teenager.
  • Make sure that your child doesn’t sling their backpack over one shoulder as this causes uneven weight distribution to the spine creating muscle imbalances and tightness.
  • Many children are carrying a large backpack and instrument. Our PT’s educate their adolescent patients to lift with their legs, not their back, and to avoid twisting when lifting.

If you have made sure that your child is using their backpack properly, and they continue to have neck or back pain, contact us for a Physical Therapy evaluation at