Back IN school means backpacks

Back IN school means backpacks

When choosing a backpack for your child there are few important things that a parent should keep in mind.

Not only are kids back to school, but they are back IN school! With virtual lessons a hopeful necessity of the past, students aren’t logging in as many hours on their computers as they will be logging steps to get to and from school. Returning to in-school learning is also the return of carrying school supplies, books, gym clothes, and lunches in a backpack. Now that we’ve seen at home all the supplies required, as parents we know it all adds up in quantity and in weight. That’s why it’s imperative to select a backpack that is the right size and is worn, or rolled, the right way. The wrong backpack can lead to unnecessary back and neck pain that will linger throughout the entire school year.

When choosing a backpack for your child there are a few important things that parents should keep in mind.


  • This should not exceed 10% of the child’s weightCan be calculated by weighing child with and without backpack on a scale
  • Can be calculated by weighing child with and without backpack on a scale

Ex. 60lb. Child = weight of backpack 6lbs. Or less


  • Should not hang more than 4 inches below child’s waistlinePositioned 2 inches below the shoulders
  • Positioned 2 inches below the shoulders
Mainway Physiotherapy

When wearing a backpack the child should be using two straps to distribute weight evenly. In some instances a waist strap can be used to help support the weight of the backpack. As well, the objects within the backpack need to be distributed evenly as much as possible. If the majority of the weight of the backpack is shifted to one side this can cause stress to your child’s back and hip.

Both the weight and size of your child’s backpack, if not worn properly, can cause back, neck, or even hip pain over a period of time. If the backpack is positioned too low it can cause the child to lean back and if it is positioned too high on the back it can cause the child to lean forward excessively. A backpack that is too heavy, can even cause nerve problems leading to tingling, numbness and weakness in the child's arms and hands.

Some alternatives to wearing the traditional backpack is to use a wheeled backpack and have the child push the object in front of them with both hands. The child can also reduce the amount of weight in their backpack by leaving some books at school.

If your child does experience back or neck pain from wearing a backpack then they should seek the help of a medical professional such as a physiotherapist. By conducting a thorough assessment, a physiotherapist can determine what is causing their pain. Proper exercises can then be prescribed and education provided to relieve and avoid further backpack related injuries.  Visit our WEBSITE or call 905-332-3800 to book an appointment.