Backpack the right way

Choose the right fit of backpack for your child. Do not make the backpack too heavy. The wrong fit and a heavy backpack can give your child “back pain, neck pain and headaches,” says Julia Brooks.Brooks is a physiotherapist at Alberta Children’s Hospital. 

The right fit 

The right backpack for your child should: 

  • be a size that is as wide as your child 
  • fit your child’s back from the top of the shoulders to the top of the pelvis 
  • have two wide straps 
  • have chest straps if possible

The right weight 

Brooks says that children should not carry more than 15% of their body weight. For example, if your child is 100 pounds, your child should not carry more than 15 pounds in their backpack. 


Pack an empty water bottle to lighten your child’s backpack. 

Adapted from CBC News