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National School Backpack Awareness Day

Social: #BackpackSafety

Twitter: @AOTAInc

Facebook: @AmericanOccupationalTherapyAssociationAOTA


Join AOTA and occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students across the country as we help others Live Life To Its Fullest by avoiding the pain and injury that can come from heavy backpacks and bags. Students, parents, educators, school administrators, and community members will learn safety tips to stay protected from back pain throughout life. You have the chance to help by organizing local events and educating people of all ages about proper bag usage. Teach others how to properly choose, pack, lift, and carry various types of bags—including backpacks, purses, briefcases, and suitcases. 

We typically celebrate AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day annually on the third Wednesday of each September. This year's event will officially take place on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

Get Involved

If you are a holding an event on September 18, 2019, we offer event planning tips and strategies. Please share photos, links to media articles, and write-ups of your event on OT Connections or by emailing

And be sure to tell us about your event! Complete this quick survey so that we can keep track of Backpack Day activities.

Spread the Word

Have an idea that you want to share with others, or get advice on how to host your own Backpack Day event? Join a conversation on CommunOTConsumersRead our tips on packing and carrying bags and backpacks

Educating students and parents is key to preventing musculoskeletal conditions that can last into adulthood. 

Contact AOTA Media Relations

If you are a member of the media looking for backpack research and ergonomic tips, contact AOTA's Manager of Media & Public Relations Katie Riley at or 301-652-6611 x2963.

Source: 2019 National Health Observances, National Health Information Center, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

Earlier Event: September 17
Get Ready Day
Later Event: September 23
Falls Prevention Awareness Day