Sign up for the Spouse & Family Newsletter

Related Spouse Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

Is Your Kid's Backpack Weighing Him Down?

The first day of school is right around the corner, and many kids have a big, new backpack that they can't wait to show off to their classmates. However, a large, overstuffed bag could lead to serious back and should injuries that could affect your child for years to come.

Before you begin to stuff books, food, and school supplies into your child's backpack, review these tips from the Minnesota Chiropractic Association to prevent unnecessary backpack-related injuries:

Find the right size backpack. The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child's torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but also place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.

Have your child use both straps. Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, lower-back pain, and poor posture.

Make sure the straps are adjustable. The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child's body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child's back.

Buy a backpack with a padded back. A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.

Look for a pack with several compartments. A backpack with individualized compartments helps position the contents more effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.

If your child seems to hunch or complain of back pain, try to pack less in the backpack. The MCA recommends that students carry no more than 10 percent of their body weight in their backpacks.

The backpack should have two padded shoulder straps.

Military News App by

Download the new News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!