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Backpack Safety Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

How to Choose a Backpack

  • Make sure the backpack itself is lightweight.
  • Look for two wide, padded shoulder straps. A waist belt may be more stable.
  • Multiple compartments will allow the weight of the contents to be distributed more evenly.
  • Ergonomically designed backpacks are best.

How to Pack a Backpack

  • The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight.
  • Try to distribute weight evenly, using all compartments.
  • Pack only essential supplies… leave non-essential items at home or at school.

How to Wear a Backpack

  • Use both shoulder straps.
  • Tighten the straps so the pack fits close to the body.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline, says the ACA.

Additional Resources


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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo


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2:56AM PDT on Mar 21, 2014

The SPAM got reported (finally) but I'm still grumpy

10:17PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

This written piece gives fastidious understanding yet.

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12:02AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

thanks for sharing

12:35PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010


12:35PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010


3:45AM PDT on Aug 20, 2010

TY. Too many books, too many things to forget to pack!

2:22AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

great article..

12:22AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

kids only need a backpack for lunch!I wasted a good proportion of my carrying books

6:45PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Even though my posture is pretty good, I sure wish I knew more about this when I went to school!

3:11PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

No, as the school my children attended gave parents the option to buy, agreed more expensive, chiropractic backpack bag which was an huge blessing. I heard many students complaining but not mine. The only complaint they had was it was not 'cool'.I said tough deal with it.

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Given the spate of articles touting the benefits this year, it's good to have this reminder.

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Sounds simple when it's presented like this, but it's incredibly difficult...

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