10% Off*, Code HPHS10 | $50 Off $250*, Code HP50

Online since 2002 |   866-316-0162

Articles and News

School’s Around the Corner, Backpack Safety

School’s Around the Corner, Backpack Safety
Kevin Cleary

As August draws to a close, every child dreads the return to school at the end of the month or in September. Many children carry their textbooks and technology aids (such as laptops, tablets, or even smart phones) in their backpack. After a while, that backpack gets heavy and can cause shoulder and back discomfort in our children. Using a backpack can be beneficial by distributing the weight evenly on both shoulders, but we all know our kids and they may not always wear their backpack properly. Between wearing their backpack improperly and overloading the contents problems can arise.

School’s Around the Corner, Backpack Safety

Backpack Issues

So how does an over laden backpack negatively affect our children? Some of our largest muscles are in our back and our back can compensate for a heavy load for a while, but as spine-health.com points out it can lead to some negative issues. They list problems that can arise from poor weight distribution or just overloading your child’s backpack that can include:

  1. Distort Curves in the Middle/Lower Back: This can lead to muscle strain, as well as causing pain in the spine and rib area.
  2. Rounding of Shoulders: With a heavy load strapped on our shoulders the constant strain can lead to aches and pain. Hey, gravity works!!
  3. Leaning Forward: In order to compensate for the heavy load behind them, children may lean forward to compensate and therefore be more susceptible to falling.

It’s not just heavy weight that can lead to back pain, but constantly wearing your backpack on one shoulder can lead to muscular imbalance. This leads our spine to lean in the opposite direction to compensate for the unbalanced weight load.

School’s Around the Corner, Backpack Safety


Medical researchers found that a lot of these backpack related aches and pains are temporary and can be alleviated with rest, but any persistent pain should be addressed by your family doctor. There has been really no conclusive medical study to offer concrete guidelines, but parents can use common sense to help alleviate any discomfort. Many simple massagers can help with temporary muscle aches and pains. They use vibrations to help alleviate overworked muscles and joints. The material your child’s backpack is made of helps. Lightweight nylon is preferred over heavier materials such as leather. Parents should simply weigh the bag before your child is off on the bus. Simply use a scale to see how much of a burden that bag is. The use of the strap around the waist can help better distribute the weight load of the bag. You can even utilize a carrier with wheels so that it can be pulled instead of carried!! The guideline put forth by the American Physical Therapy Association suggests that the backpack weight should be 15-20% of your child’s weight. No more!! You can help your child reduce aches and pain with topical gels that warm the sore muscles. They can soothe and relax muscles by increasing blood flow to the sore area. While muscle pain from an overloaded backpack can be temporary, over time the aches and pains may last longer (especially as our children get older) with heavier books and equipment. You can treat this pain locally with pain relief patches; some with medication (such as lidocaine) or even made from natural herbal sources. You should always check with your child’s pediatrician or doctor before applying any medicated patch.

Be proactive in helping your child keep the physical load off their back since the load of school work is inevitable. Maybe by minimizing the weight of their textbooks and equipment, or at least reducing the aches and pains, we can help with the stress of school. Maybe not, but they won’t have to deal with back or shoulder pain if we can help it!!


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

Continue reading

Trending Articles

Enteral Feeding: The What, When, and How

Shweta Chaubey

When traditional oral intake is not feasible, enteral feeding comes into play. It supports nutritional needs of individuals recovering from an injury or surgery. Dive into this informative article and learn what, when, why, and how of enteral feeding and ensure optimal patient care.

Using the Carpal Solution Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support

Kevin Cleary

Looking for a non-invasive option to manage carpal tunnel symptoms? Experience relief from constant tingling and pain with this Carpal Solution Wrist Support. Read this article to know about the unique features and benefits of this wrist support brace designed to deal with CTS and find why it is one of the most reliable wrist braces available on the market.

Top 5 Best Reviewed Nebulizers of 2023

Kevin Cleary

Need an effective and affordable nebulizer? Look no further, in this article we offer 5 of our best reviewed nebulizers that are loved by our customers. Click to read more and find the perfect nebulizer for all your respiratory needs.

10 Best Overnight Adult Diapers

Shweta Chaubey

Worried about nighttime leaks? Say goodbye to leakage with our ten best overnight adult diapers and wake up refreshed and dry.

Five Best Cervical Traction Devices of 2023

Taikhum Sadiq

Neck pain can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy life. Traction device improves your cervical health and overall well-being. Read more to find our best cervical traction devices designed to curb the stiffness and discomfort of cervical muscles.