“Pack it Light, Wear it Right”
Q: As a parent of elementary school children and teens, I’ve often wondered if the books they are carrying in their backpacks are too heavy.
A: Your intuition is on track. Statistics tell us that 79 million students in the U.S. carry heavy loads in backpacks. The risk associated with having back pain at an early age is that it often lasts through adulthood. In 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission reported nearly 22,200 strains, sprains, fractures and dislocations from school-age children and young adults carrying backpacks who were treated in emergency rooms, physician offices and clinics.
Q: Are there guidelines for the weight these children should be carrying in their backpacks?
A: Yes there is, and it is easy to remember. The backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight. Students and parents need to pay serious attention to this guideline. One study showed 55% of students carried backpacks heavier than the guideline.
Here are some tips to consider when purchasing your child’s school backpack this month (follow the links below for more details):