Frequently Asked Questions
Can backpacks cause long-term back problems?
Backpacks themselves can do no damage. Using them improperly can.
My back and neck hurt after wearing my backpack. What should I do?
You should let your parents know about the pain you feel. Pain is a signal from your body telling you something is wrong. You should consult your family chiropractor or other health care practitioner immediately.
Is there a backpack that is safer to wear?
Most backpacks are safe to wear if they’re worn properly and you follow the backpack safety guidelines. However, there are some that are specially designed to distribute the weight load safely and with less stress on your growing spine. Check our recommended products for a backpack that may be right for you.
How can we get the Backpack Safety America™ program for our school?
You can do this several ways. First, check our participating doctors listing for a doctor in your area. You can contact the doctor directly from there. You can also contact your local doctor of chiropractic and ask her/him to bring the program to your school. Finally, you can contact us at Backpack Safety America™ and ask us to help you locate a doctor of chiropractic in your area.
How much weight should I put in my backpack?
A maximum of 15 percent of your body weight is what should go into your backpack. That means if your body weight is 80 pounds, you should carry 12 pounds or less in your backpack.
I have too many books to carry. What should I do?
Lighten your load by removing any unnecessary items. Carry a heavy book or two under your arm.
Do I have to wear both shoulder straps and the waist strap?
Yes, because the shoulder straps help you distribute the weight evenly between your shoulders and the waist strap helps to stabilize the load, preventing possible injury during movement.
What about roller backpacks? Are they safer?
Roller backpacks may be a viable alternative, yet they have their disadvantages as well. First, they can add as much as 20 percent to the overall weight of a backpack before you add books and other items. Second, they can present a tripping hazard in crowded hallways in school. Third, because they can be just as heavy, they pose a challenge for lifting properly when they need to be carried up and down stairways.