Backpack Safety

Children often use backpacks to carry school supplies to and from school.  If used properly, backpacks are designed to distribute weight evenly without strain to neck, shoulder or back muscles.


  • Check frequently that your child is not carrying more than 15% of his or her body weight in the backpack.
  • Encourage your child to bring only necessary books and materials home each night.
  • Ask your child if he or she can store items in a locker rather than the backpack.
  • Educate your child about proper backpack wear.  Keep straps on both shoulders and use the waist strap.  Adjust straps to fit snugly.
  • Help your child understand how to distribute the weight properly.  Put the heaviest items low and near the center of the back.

Q:  How do I choose the right backpack for my child?

  • Lightweight.  A full backpack should not exceed 15% of your child’s weight.
  • Shoulder straps.  Look for wide and well-padded straps for comfort and even distribution of weight.
  • Material.  Pick a durable, sturdy material to prevent sharp objects from poking through.
  • Waist belt.  This helps keep the weight close the body.
  • Multiple compartments.  These distribute the weight evenly.