Back to School and Backpack Safety

A story from the July 18, 2000 /PRNewswire warns consumers of the dangers of carrying backpacks too heavily loaded.  The article reports on several studies, “A recent survey by Lands End Direct Merchants found that more than 96 percent of children ages 8 to 12 will carry a backpack to school this year.  Of those, nearly one-third will carry their backpack improperly.  Similarly, a recent study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound backpack for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound backpack for a 132-pound woman.”

Heavy backpack

The American Chiropractic Association has offered some tips for choosing a good backpack for your child.

  • A backpack should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight.
  • A backpack never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
  • Choose a bag with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most evenly and effectively.
  • Your child should always wear both shoulder straps.
  • Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, choose a luggage type backpack or talk to your child’s teacher.

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