Finding the right backpack to prevent neck and shoulder pain

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Kids are getting ready to go back to school in a few weeks. We have some tips to help pick out a backpack that will be comfortable and safe.

It's not just about the stylish look. Finding the right backpack and fit will help prevent back, shoulder and neck pain. Look for one made with light-weight material, a padded back and two straps.

"Bags that only have one strap that's designed to be put over one shoulder, or putting straps over one shoulder at a time sends kids center of gravity off-kilter and can cause a lot of back and shoulder discomfort, sometimes neck discomfort too," said Dr. Kim Giuliano, Cleveland Clinic.

When it comes to books and supplies, try to have kids pack light. A backpack should never weigh more than 10% to 20%t of a child's total body weight. Heavier items should sit close to the back and it's a good idea to tighten the straps, so the back is snug to the body.

"If theres a lot of slack it can get caught on other children, doorknobs, in the hallways at school, or getting up and off the steps of a school bus that could enable a child to get caught and potentially trip and fall," said Dr. Giuliano.

And you also want to make sure you don't have any dangling straps because these can also get caught and cause tripping. You can cut them or tie them to make them shorter.

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