• Healthy Links

    North Allegheny School District is not responsible for the content of the links on this page.

    Backpack Safety

    Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help you to choose the right backpack.

    • Wide Padded Shoulder Straps – Narrow straps can dig into shoulders, cause pain, and restrict circulation.
    • Two Shoulder straps – Packs with only one strap that run across the body cannot distribute weight evenly.
    • Padded Back – A padded back protects against sharp edges on objects in the pack.
    • Waist Strap – This can distribute the weight of a heavy load.
    • Lightweight – The backpack itself should not add much weight to the load.
    • Rolling backpack – This may be a good choice for students, but remember that rolling backpacks must be carried up stairs and may be difficult to roll in the snow.

    To prevent injury, the AAP recommends the following:

    • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a pack over one shoulder will cause undue strain.
    • Tighten the pack so that it is close to the body. The straps should hold the pack two inches above the waist.
    • Pack light. The pack should never be more than 15% of the student's body weight.
    • Organize the pack to use all of its compartments, packing heavier items closest to the body.
    • Stop often at school lockers when possible.
    • Bend using both knees. Do not bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy back pack.
    • Teach your child some back strengthening exercises to build up muscles used to carry the pack.

    Check out the links below for more information about backpack safety!

    Children's Health

    Color Vision Deficiency

    Children with Chronic Health Conditions


    • MedlinePlus - sponsored by the National Institute of Health