Back to School: Backpack Safety Tips

backpack painIt feels like yesterday we heard the kids chanting “No more pencils! No more books!” School was out for summer. Now as September is approaching, we are gearing up to send the kids back to school. Let the back to school shopping fun begin! Clothes, lunch bags, shoes, notebooks, book covers, and the most important of all… backpacks.

Backpacks come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles such as shoulder bags, messenger bags, or purses. However, backpacks are the best choice because they use the strongest muscles in the body, the back and the abdominal muscles. This helps support the weight of the packs and if your child is in school, you know how heavy books can be. With that being said, overloaded backpacks have been a topic of conversation receiving attention from parents, doctors, schools, and the media over the last several years. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries annually treated by hospitals and doctors. Injuries include bruises, sprains and strains to the back and shoulder and in some instances, stress fractures to the back and ribs.

What can we do to prevent backpack related injuries? Performance Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine has decided to put together “Tips for Backpack Safety”.

  • Choose the right size backpack. An adult backpack is made for an adult and will not properly fit a child. The bottom of the backpack should be about two inches above your child’s waist and should never hang more than four inches below the waistline
  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward attempting to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  • Position the backpack properly. Wearing a backpack on one shoulder can cause muscle strain and imbalance.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.

Contact us at 908-756-2424 for an appointment to learn more.


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