MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The new school year is almost here and as parents prepare for back-to-school shopping, doctors have a warning about heavy backpacks.
Doctors say heavy backpacks can cause back problems if kids are carrying more than 10 percent of their body weight in their bags.
It’s a problem that faces a majority of students. A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood showed 60 percent of children ages 12 to 17 carried backpacks that weighed more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight.
Chiropractor Steve Hannigan has worked in Myrtle Beach for 31 years, he said he’s seen heavy backpacks cause muscular back pain as well as lower back pain.
A backpack that’s well-padded along the back is recommended and Dr. Hannigan said always wear it with both straps on the shoulders.
That’s because preventing back pain and potential posture problems also has a lot to do with how the backpack is carried.
While they may not think it looks cool, Dr. Hannigan said parents should encourage their kids to wear both straps to distribute the weight evenly.
Dr. Hannigan also said, if possible, work with teachers to limit the number of books they carry to the classroom.
“Really if they could use computers. It’s so important, most of this stuff should be available online so they don’t have to carry backpacks to and from school,” Dr. Hannigan said.
Experts also suggest getting your kids rolling backpacks, and when shopping for a regular backpack, make sure it’s the right size for your child.