What is the recommended weight for a child's school backpack?


Quick Answer

The weight of a child’s backpack should not exceed 10 to 15 percent of the child’s body weight. This recommended range assumes the child uses both arm straps and is using the backpack correctly.

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Full Answer

Shoulder bags, messenger bags or purses should not carry as much weight as a standard backpack; because the back and abdominal muscles are used to support the backpack, a backpack is able to safely carry a higher weight. The recommended weight of the backpack is also impacted by the size of the backpack. Backpacks that are too small should carry less weight to minimize interference with circulation, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms.

The straps of the backpack should be tightened to have the bag rest closely to the body; this ensures the weight does not pull the child’s back downward or forcing the child to lean forward. Backpacks with weight belts have the capability to safely carry more weight. Backpacks with compartments to disburse the weight evenly handle more weight safely.

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