Rise and Shine shared that heavy backpacks go hand-in-hand with the return of the school year, and parents need to know how to help their children avoid the pain. While there are no studies showing that carrying a heavy backpack causes structural deformity to the back, kids with chronic back pain are predisposed to becoming adults with chronic back pain.
Warning signs that a backpack is too heavy
The National Safety Council, founded in 1913 by Congress to build awareness, training and share best practices on safety issues, has developed the following warning signs that a backpack is too heavy:
- Change in posture when wearing a backpack.
- Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack.
- Tingling or numbness.
- Red marks.
A child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight, according to a 2016 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Younger children and girls seem more susceptible to backpack-related pain, so parents may want to lean more towards 10 percent.
Children should also use lockers if that option is available. Parents can also talk to their child’s teacher and ask how they can help lighten the workload.