PARENTS
08/27/2014 04:14 pm ET Updated Aug 28, 2014

6 Backpacks For Kids That Won't Hurt Their Backs

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:

  • 1 REI Tarn 18 Pack - Kids'
    REI
    $39.50 Buy here.
  • 2 High Sierra Cirque Backpack
    Sunnysports.com
    $52.95 Buy here.
  • 3 JanSport Agave
    JanSport
  • 4 The North Face Borealis Backpack
    The North Face
  • 5 Nike SFS Responder Backpack
    Zappos.com
  • 6 Dakine Womens Heli Pro 18L
    Dakine

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