Dangers of a Heavy Backpack

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School will be starting soon, and that means back-to-school shopping. One of the most important items on the list is the backpack, and purchasing the proper backpack is very important. Avoiding a heavy backpack can go a long way in preventing serious health problems.

A heavy backpack can lead to long-term problems
A heavy backpack can lead to long-term problems

It is a good idea to keep these Backpack Safety Tips in mind as you consider a backpack for your child, regardless of his or her age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s backpack should not exceed 10-15% of your child’s body weight. Both straps, preferably padded, should always be worn and precautions should be taken to avoid a heavy backpack.

Prolonged use of a heavy backpack can lead to many long-term heavy risks, including:
•    Pain caused by curvature of the spine, often due to improperly wearing a backpack over just one shoulder
•    Poor posture can result from the weight of a heavy backpack pulling your child forward, and this can lead to compression of the spine
•    Pain and tingling in arms, neck, hands and legs caused by pressure from straps on the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulders
•    Strain or damage to muscles in the back and stomach, and pain in the upper and lower back due to improper use

Before you purchase a new backpack this year, review these Backpack Safety Tips, and discuss them with your child. Proper padding and size should be a higher priority than the color and design of the backpack. The school year comes with enough stressors, your child’s backpack doesn’t need to be one of them!