Heavy backpacks, especially when worn improperly, can cause kids' backs, neck, or shoulder pain. (More details about that, here).
But if a heavy load is unavoidable, don't worry! Doctors recommend a few shopping guidelines that will help prevent injury:
1. Look for thick shoulder straps (and always use both straps!).
2. Pack heavy things at the bottom and towards the back, close to the body.
3. The backpack should be the length of the torso, ending two inches below the waist.
4. Find a backpack with a waist strap. Dr. Elise G. Hewitt, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Pediatrics Council, says using that strap will help distribute the weight onto the hip bones, rather than the shoulders.
While backpacks with waist straps might not be sold at every store -- since they're typically used for athletic purposes -- we've rounded up a few great, safe options: