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Is your child’s school backpack too heavy?


OKLAHOMA CITY — Students are hitting the books now that school is back in session. But lugging around hefty backpacks can bring on back pain.

Often everything a child needs at school can be found in one place-on their back.

From books and notebooks to pencils and other school supplies, it all gets toted around in a backpack.

But all that stuff can really add up in weight, says Dr. David Marshall, Medical Director of Sports Medicine at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“We’re starting to see more and more back pain complaints in the doctors and the sports medicine offices and the question is, “Is there a correlation between backpacks and back pain?”

Marshall is demonstrating how he advises his own daughter to properly wear hers.

“The way she has it adjusted out it’s way to low.. the weight of the backpack should never be lower than the waist line so the straps should be adjusted so that the backpack fits high up on her shoulders. The shoulder straps need to be two of them not just one and also they need to be wide and padded.”

He recommends the use of an abdominal strap.

“That will also help redistribute the load evenly across child’s back without having the effect of 10 pounds pulling back on their shoulders then,” Marshall says.

Experts recommend these bags not weigh more than about ten to fifteen percent of the student’s body weight-also so that the child does not fall or bump into another student.

If that’s not feasible, you may want to purchase a rolling backpack.