Backpacks are a great way for kids to carry their books and school supplies. Even when we get older, they may be essential for adults and their daily commute. But if your backpack is too heavy or you’re not wearing correctly, it can cause injury and pain. Here are some tips from the HSS Pediatric Rehabilitation Department on the best way to pack and wear your or your child’s backpack:
- Keep the backpack organized so the contents don’t shift around. Heavier items should be packed closer to the back.
- Carry only the items that need to be carried. Having multiple library books, extra water bottles or other items can weigh you down, especially if you don’t need them.
- If the backpack has two shoulder straps, use both of them. Carrying the backpack on one side can cause the weight to be distributed unevenly.
- The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends that a child’s backpack weigh no more than 10% of his or her body weight.