Five Tips for Preventing Back-to-School Backpack Overload


Each year, tens of millions of kids head off to school with a backpack full of books and suppliesback-to-school, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association.

It sounds ridiculous, but imagine an 80-pound child carrying a 20-pound backpack (yes, it happens). How well would you hold up lugging around 25% of your weight in books every day?

Fortunately, people are aware of this problem and the National Safety Council has five tips to help make sure your students academic workload doesn’t turn into a physical one:

  1. Watch for warning signs. A backpack might be too heavy if your child struggles to put it on or take it off, changes posture while wearing it or feels pain, tingling or numbness.
  2. Check the weight. A good rule of thumb: Kid’s backpacks should not weigh more than 5 to 10% of their body weight. Any more than that and they run the risk of bending forward while carrying it, which can put stress on the back, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
  3. Get the right pack. The fit of a backpack is extremely important. Shoulder straps should be wide and padded for comfort, and the pack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A comfortable backpack encourages proper use, so that kids aren’t carrying packs around by one strap, which can lead to neck or back problems. And watch the size, too! Getting a backpack with too much room can encourage overloading.
  4. Don’t just throw stuff in. Make sure kids put some thought into what they pack. They should only carry what they need for the day and leave things they don’t need at home. And pack it well. Distributing weight evenly increases comfort and safety.
  5. Be vocal. Talk to your child’s teacher or a school administrator if you need help getting the weight down. There may be solutions, such as bringing home handouts or workbooks instead of heavy textbooks.

backpack-05-07-2012A little bit of thought can make a big difference when it comes to backpack safety. And those lighter loads make for happier and healthier kids.


Give Marketing Link Insurance a call for any of your insurance needs 507-674-3802