Backpacks: An Overlooked Injury Hazard

As we settle into the new school year, your child is probably already experiencing the typical pains of homework, rigorous afterschool activities, and balancing a social life. One type of pain young students should never experience, though, is back, neck, and shoulder pain from too-heavy backpacks.

Backpack Injuries

Injuries from heavy backpacks might include:

  • Shoulder and neck injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Curvature of the spine
  • Spine compression

Heavy backpacks can also cause accidental injuries. They might hit another child with their backpack, trip over another student’s bag, or fall because of the imbalance that their heavy backpack creates.

While pain from a heavy backpack may just seem like a minor annoyance, it can actually have a serious impact. Since kid’s bones continue to grow until they reach high school, childhood injuries can have a major impact.

To decrease the chances of an injury:

  • Your child’s backpack should weight only 10-15% of the child’s body weight. Having a backpack that weighs less will dramatically cut down on neck and back injuries.
  • Make sure your child is only bringing home what they need from school. If they have textbooks or binders that they don’t need at home, remind them to leave them in a locker or in their desk.
  • Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps, a padded back, a waist belt, and multiple compartments.
  • Remind your child to wear their backpack properly. Wearing it with just one strap, for example, increases the chances of injury.
  • Use all compartment to distribute weight more evenly.

Children might have to worry about homework, but they shouldn’t have to worry about lingering back or neck pain! If you have noticed that your child is struggling with the weight of their backpack, see what steps you can take to remove some of the strain.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.



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