IMG_5177Parents–have you ever wondered if your child’s back pack was too heavy for their little body?

Between books, supplies, devices, instruments, sports gear, water bottles and lunch boxes, most kids today are carrying TOO MUCH, and it’s causing a lot of problems for their spine AND nervous system!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a child’s backpack weigh no more than 10-20% of a child’s weight, and some even recommend between 5-10%. An 80 pound 6th grader should have a backpack weight in the range of 8-16 pounds. Many children this age are wearing backpacks close to 30 pounds!

It’s not just how much the backpack weighs, however. It is also how it fits. It should have two wide straps to distribute weight across the upper back and shoulders, and should not be worn over one shoulder. It should also have a clasp in the front of the abdomen to help take some pressure off of the low back area.

An improperly fitting backpack, especially if too heavy, can cause neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, upper back pain, low back pain, and more. And all of these conditions can make it harder for children to study, focus in school, sleep well, and play in sports or be physically active.

Many doctors may recommend over the counter pain relievers to alleviate some of the pain, but these are not safe for children to take, especially on a regular basis.

New Beginnings Chiropractic is offering a FREE Backpack Screening to all school age children! We will weigh each child, weigh each backpack (if empty we will add weight to approximate what a child would carry), measure backpack, and take before and after postural photos so parents can see if there is any postural distortion while wearing the weighted backpack.

We also recommend making an appointment for a set of spinal scans that show uneven muscle tension and nervous system disruption that may be due to carrying a heavy bag and other causes.

Get your child signed up for a FREE Backpack Screening on Thursday, August 24th from 2-3 pm! Call 437-9990 to reserve your spot.

About the Author

Dr. Brenda Trudell is a chiropractor and owner of New Beginnings Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, WI. The clinic focuses on natural health, especially for women, pregnancy and children through chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, fitness, nutrition, essential oils, and more. As a female chiropractor, she understands the special circumstances surrounding women's health. Men and women are not created equal, and it is important to acknowledge that in the healthcare world. She strives to find the most current healthcare information to help all of her patients.

Dr. Trudell is available to present to groups on many different topics. Please contact the office for details or with any questions. Dr. Trudell is certified in the Webster Technique. For more information, visit or email at