Alaska Back Care Center

Alaska Back Care Center Discusses Proper Child Backpacks

Children grow so quickly. As they are growing their bones and muscles are susceptible to temporary backaches, joint pain, and muscle strains. Do your part to ensure your kids never start on the long road of back-related problems and choose the right backpack for them. Our Anchorage chiropractic clinic can help. 

To be safe, make it a game. The simplest tool is right in your bathroom. Get out that scale and weigh. Your small child’s backpack should weigh less than 10 pounds. For a 150-pound child, 15 pounds is the recommended maximum. For a 75 pound child, 7.5 pounds is the most they should safely carry. 

Heavy backpacks can: 

● Lead to poor posture 

● Cause headaches 

● Disrupt natural curve of the middle and lower back 

● Cause the spine and muscles to lean to overcompensate 

● Place undue stress on the lower back 


Try to get your child into the habit of wearing a backpack correctly, i.e., putting it on right and picking it up right. If you and your child follow these rules it’ll go a long way to maintain good spinal health. 

● Squat or kneel to pick up the backpack 

● Avoid twisting or bending picking up the backpack 

● Lift with the legs (goes for everything) 

● Slip it on (use a waist-high table if you can) 

● Always wear both straps 

● Adjust the straps so the pack fits to snug 

● Always use the waist straps 

If you are in the market for a new backpack make sure it has all or most of the following criteria: 

Two Straps 

Single strapped satchels are best avoided. It makes your child uneven and places the load off-center on one side of their body. Two straps balance the load on both of their shoulders. 

Realistic Size 

We’ve all seen that kid with the bag bigger than they are; funny as it looks it’s no laughing matter. A child’s backpack should be no bigger than the child's back and it should lie 1-2 inches below the shoulders and no more than 4 inches below the waist. 

Padded Straps 

Wide shoulder straps distribute the load over more surface area and wider is better, with a minimum of two padded inches the best way to go. 

Padded Back 

A padded back alleviates any nasty pressure points and protects from that pencil case or game system poking the spine. 

Have inquiries about your child's back health? For more information contact us here at Alaska Back Care