Is Your Child’s Backpack Too Heavy?

August 26th, 2015

It’s Time to Head Back to School! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following tips and recommendations for backpack safety:

• A lightweight pack that doesn’t add a lot of weight to your child’s load (for example, even though leather packs look cool, they weigh more than traditional canvas backpacks).

• Wide, padded shoulder straps; straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders.

• A padded back, which not only provides increased comfort, but also protects kids from being poked by sharp edges on objects (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.

• A waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body.

• Multiple compartments, which can help distribute the weight more evenly.

• Although packs on wheels (which look like small, overhead luggage bags) may be good options for students who have to lug around really heavy loads, they’re extremely difficult to pull up stairs and to roll through snow. Check with the school before buying a rolling pack; many schools don’t allow them because they can pose a tripping hazard in the hallways.

Back Pack Download full size infographic

This information is brought to you by our Sportsology team. Sportsology is the collaboration between certified athletic trainers from Southern Illinois Healthcare’s Rehab Unlimited and Sports Medicine physicians and fellows from SIU School of Medicine. For more information about our Sportsology program, please visit