Just like children, backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we’ve created an easy to follow list for selecting the appropriate backpack.
Choose size over style
If your child wears a backpack that’s too large for their frame, chances are they will haul around more than is safe for their spine.
Use your child’s back as the tape measure. The top of a backpack should not go above your child’s shoulders and the bottom of the bag should sit 1 to 2 inches above their beltline. The width of the backpack should be shoulder blade to shoulder blade.
Don’t over pack
A bag larger than a child’s back can be easily overstuffed. Items like sports equipment, toys, science projects, snacks, and books are all important. Allocating different compartments for each, or different bags is best.
Make sure the backpack weighs no more than 15-20% of your child’s total body weight
Begin packing the backpack by laying large, flat items at the back of the bag so they lay flat against your child’s back. Layer smaller books and items on top. Don’t forget to utilize small pockets and compartments to distribute weight equally. Show your child where each item is so they can re-pack properly after school.
Use both straps
Adjust both shoulder straps so the backpack fits snug against your child’s back. Make sure it isn’t too tight or cutting into their shoulders. Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps. It’s the best way to avoid spine or back injury. Your child should be comfortable carrying a fully packed bag if adjusted and worn correctly.
If your child’s backpack fits improperly or isn’t worn correctly, it can lead to poor posture and eventually childhood back problems. Make sure you select the best-fitting bag for your child to help protect their spine.
We encourage all parents to bring their children in periodically for chiropractic care. Chiropractic is safe and effective for kids of all ages and it will help to maintain optimal spine posture and overall health.