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8 Aug, 2013

Health & Wellness Update: Chiropractors Encourage Backpack Safety for Students


BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Aug. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Over 79 million students carry a backpack to school each day. However, most students are unaware of the potential hazards such as neck and back problems that come with the improper use of backpacks. To avoid long-term injuries and prepare students for the fall, Minnesota chiropractors encourage families to consider these safety tips to ensure a safe and educational school year.

Safety tips on how to avoid backpack injuries

1. Wear both shoulder straps evenly to properly distribute backpack weight.

2. Get the correct size backpack for you and/or your child.

3. Do not pack too much weight and remember that no one should carry more than 25 pounds in a backpack. Follow these guidelines to ensure student safety at school:

Weight of Child(in pounds) Maximum Backpack Weight
60 5
60 – 75 10
75 – 100 15
100 – 125 18
125 – 150 20
150 – 200 25*
* American Chiropractic Association, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Physical Therapy Association


4. The backpack should not extend below the lower back. Bigger is not better.

5. Lighten the load and put the heaviest items in the backpack first keeping them close to the body.

6. Lift the backpack with your legs and place it on one shoulder strap at a time.

7. Do not leave backpacks on the floor where they can become a tripping hazard.

8. Choose a quality backpack that has wide well-cushioned shoulder straps with a lumbar support/padding.

In 2010 the American Chiropractic Association began endorsing North Face for their high quality backpacks. Talk to teachers about reducing the need to bring home textbooks or if at all possible, have an extra set for home use.

If you would like personalized help for your child’s backpack and other health needs, please visit the Minnesota Chiropractic Association website at www.mnchiro.com to “Find a Doctor” in your community.