Back-to-School: Backpack Health
Back-to-school season means new responsibilities for students, and more than likely, an over-stuffed backpack.
What many parents may not realize is that a too-heavy backpack can lead to serious back, shoulder, and neck pain.
To alleviate these issues for your child, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that children shouldn’t carry a backpack that exceeds 15 to 20 percent of his or her body weight. With 15 percent as the conservative target, here’s a breakdown by body weight for how much your child should be carrying around in his or her backpack:
Child’s Weight vs. Backpack Weight:
- 50 pounds = 7.5 pounds
- 75 pounds = 11.25 pounds
- 100 pounds = 15 pounds
- 125 pounds = 18.75 pounds
- 150 pounds = 22.5 pounds
Try these tips to lighten your child’s load:
- Have your child evaluate what they truly need to bring home each day.
- Check-in with teachers to see what resources can be utilized electronically. You can also ask if there are books that aren’t needed every day, so they can be stored at home.
- Use all of the pockets! Dispersing the weight around a bag makes a huge difference on a child’s back and shoulders.
- Encourage your child to use both backpack straps to even out the stress put on the shoulders and back.
Read more about children’s health:
- Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas for Kids
- Easy and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids
- Tips for Making Healthy Dinners for Kids
Photo credit: LSO Photo