Back To School Means Back to Backpacks


Going back to school means new backpacks filled with books and school supplies. We all try our best to pick out the best ones, but how do you know the backpack isn’t hurting your child’s spine? Recent studies have shown that 64% of children suffer from back pain. Most cases can be traced to overloaded or ill fitting backpacks or other school bags. If a child’s backpack is too heavy, a child may react by bending forward at the hips or by arching the back. This can cause the spine to compress unnaturally, and over time, may lead to shoulder, neck and back pain. To help avoid such scenarios, we have some backpack safety tips designed to help keep a child out of pain.

Two Straps: Make sure the bag has two straps. Single strapped bags, like satchels and duffel bags, should be avoided. A single strap places the entire load on one side of the body. Two strap balance the load on both shoulders.

Size: The bag should be no larger than the child’s back. It should rest 1-2 inches below the shoulders and no more than 4 inches below the waistline (Note: the waistline level with the bellybutton).

Waist Strap: It dramatically helps direct the load away from the shoulders and onto the much stronger waist and hip muscle groups.

Compartments: Having a bag with several compartments helps keep the load where you put it. A shifting load means a shifting, or dynamic, stress. Dynamic stresses are bad. 2nd, it lets you put flat things next to the back and pointy things away from it.

Chest Strap: A strap across the chest from shoulder strap to shoulder strap is a small, but worthwhile improvement. It holds the shoulder straps securely on the main part of the shoulder eliminating slippage and load shifting. It also fights the urge to slouch.

Padded Back: The back should be padded as well. It will alleviate any pressure points. And it will protect the back from being poked and prodded by what is loaded in the bag.

If you would or someone you know has any questions on backpack fitting or would like to stop by for a free injury screen please contact us at