Valerie Amstadt, PA-C
Campbell County Medical Group Kid Clinic
Back to school usually means a the fun of having a new backpack. In fact, more than 79 million students in the United States carry school backpacks. But caring too much weight in a backpack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain, like aching backs and shoulders, or tingling arms.
Here are some tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association to help children load and wear backpacks correctly.
- Backpacks should never weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded backpack heavier than 10 pounds.
- Make sure you choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and adjust them so the pack fits snugly on the child’s back, and wear the belt if the backpack has one.
- Load the heaviest items closest to the center of the pack.
- Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the pack.
- Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, causing pain or discomfort.
- The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
- School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child.
The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic offering medical care and counseling services for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings over the age of 2. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit
The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District.