Back to School HQ: Dangers of heavy backpacks

Back To School

(WRIC) — School is back in session and that means back to the books. But carrying around backpacks can get pretty heavy, sometimes causing back pain.

If you notice your child struggling to put the bag on, leaning forward while walking, or complaining of numbness, chances are their backpack is too heavy.

The easiest thing to do is lighten the load and only carry what’s absolutely necessary. If it’s not essential, leave it at home.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see children carrying around a quarter of their body weight.

The American Chiropractic Association recommends a backpack weigh no more than 5 percent to 10 percent of a child’s weight. Make sure your child is using both straps and try buying a bag with multiple compartments to even out the weight.

Backpacks that are too heavy can cause back pain, shoulder pain and poor posture. 

“Most of it is just back pain, whether it’s short term or long term. We haven’t found that backpacks cause Scoliosis or anything like that if you wear them incorrectly. Some people thought that in the past, but that’s not the case,” Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, Victoria Kuester, said.

Rolling backpacks are not recommended because they often become tripping hazards in the classroom and hallways.

Many schools have been implementing technology, such as Chromebooks in the classroom to cut down on books. Some schools require kids to leave backpacks in their lockers.

8News is your back to school headquarters. Find more stories here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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