Heavy School Backpacks May Lead To Injuries

Big Bear City, CA, August 20, 2012, 3:00pm - Children are back in school, and many are heading to school with over-loaded backpacks that can cause injury. According to research, about 50% of children have experienced at least one episode of low back pain, with 15% reporting frequent or continual pain. Research also indicates that this may be due to the improper use of backpacks and the excessive weight of books they carry.

To make sure your kids don’t end up with chronic back and spine problems, there are some things you can do.

1. To avoid injury, the weight of the backpack should be less than 10-15% of a child’s body weight.
2. Check the straps – wide straps help carry the weight, and narrow straps can pinch a nerve. If there is a waist strap, use it to help balance the load.
3. Use a lightweight or feather-light, Nylon Bag not a heavy, fancy leather pack – the bag should be as light as possible so you don’t add weight from the bag itself.
4. Avoid the popular messenger bags that are slung over the shoulder – they can cause spine misalignment.
5. Look for rolling packs with wheels so kids can roll the weight, not carry it.
6. Lift it properly – teach children to bend at the knees and lift with their legs.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.