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Your Kiddo is Headed Back to School. Is Their Backpack Safe?

August 15, 2019

Library Stresses Knapsack Safety at Weekend Wellness Session

Nearly 7,800 children go to the emergency room for backpack injuries every year.

As parents and caregivers across Nashville are this month sending their little ones back to school, Nashville Public LIbrary (NPL) is working with a local expert to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge to protect their loved ones from harm.

“Backpack injuries are a major cause for emergency room visits for children,” said Dr. Alae Rabiei, a chiropractor based in Nashville. “Repetitive and improper use of a backpack that is too heavy can cause long term and irreversible damage to your child’s spine.” 

Here are the key do’s and don’ts that Dr. Rabiei stresses for parents to follow.


  • Choose a backpack with waist and chest belts to evenly distribute weight.
  • Ensure that the backpack is not wider or longer than the child’s torso.
  • Choose a backpack with a padded back and shoulder straps.
  • Help your child adjust their straps so that they are even.


  • Let the weight of the backpack exceed 10-15% of your child’s body weight.
  • Buy a backpack just because it’s bigger - more space means more weight.
  • Put all of a child’s items in one pocket - spread them out to evenly distribute the weight.
  • Let a child wear their backpack too high or too low on their back.

Dr. Rabiei will present more information on backpack safety at a free Weekend Wellness session at the Edmondson Pike Branch, 5501 Edmondson Pike, at 1:00 PM on Saturday, Aug 24. She will also check backpacks that patrons bring to ensure they’re adjusted correctly and weight is evenly distributed. You can learn more about the event by visiting our online events calendar.

Weekend Wellness at Edmondson Pike is part of the larger Be Well at NPL initiative. Be Well at NPL is a series of free wellness programming across all of NPL’s 21 branches that includes yoga classes, Zumba sessions, cooking classes, and more. The program connects Library patrons with trusted health resources found online, in NPL’s collections, and in the community. 

Be sure to check out some of the other great Be Well at NPL events happening at your closest branch.

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Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.