Did you know, according to the U.S. consumer product safety commission, in 2013 nearly 22,000, sprains, strains, dislocations, and fractures from backpacks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, physicians’ offices and clinics.

Backpacks are great for carrying lots of things, but there are also adverse effects when worn improperly or when they are to heavy. They can lead to things such as: back problems, tripping because they are leaning forward to support heavy backpack, unnatural spine compression due to heavy load or wearing one strap, poor posture, and interference with circulation and nerves.

A well fitted backpack is very important to keep your back healthy and strong. Here are some tips and tricks to help you know if your backpack fits just right:

  1. Do not carry more than you need for the day.
  2. Put your heaviest books closest to your back where you are the strongest.
  3. Always wear both of your backpack straps so one side does not have to carry all the weight alone.
  4. Make sure your backpack is in the middle of your back over your strongest muscles.

Ask a grown-up to help you make sure your backpack weighs less than 15% of your body weight.