Loading a Pack
• Backpack should weigh no more than about 15% of his or her body weight.
• Load heaviest items closest to the back of the pack.
• Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack.
• Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Leave out the unnecessary items for the day’s activities.
• If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack.
• If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels
Wearing a Pack
• Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
• Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied.
• Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles.
• Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly.
• The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
• School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items.