Being a parent in today’s society is no easy task. Balancing the kid’s activities, ensuring they are eating properly, getting enough sleep, and for those parents of teens, monitoring their kids screen time.
With so much on a parent’s plate, it’s easy to overlook a critical element in their child’s life- their backpack. Some are quick to spray them with Lysol to rid their children of harmful germs but are often times forgetting how excess weight in their bag could be causing harm as well.
Studies have shown that one in four students complain of back pain at least 15 times throughout the school year. Due to this excess weight, back injuries are increasing in school aged children.
With these injuries to the back becoming more prevalent, some states are even passing legislation to “lighten the load”. The overabundance of items in kids backpacks are being compared to that of the weight firefighters and soldiers bear and ScienceDaily is claiming this can lead to serious risks.
With technology advancing, many books are able to be transferred to an electronic version which in turn can reduce the weight of a students bag by 3 ½ pounds which is the average size of a textbook.
With so many children affected by these backpack injuries, our Atlanta orthopedic doctors have compiled a list of safety measures to help take the weight off your children’s shoulders.
The best way to make sure you are not overloading your child is to use this simple formula. A backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight, so for a child who may be 60 pounds the weight of the bag should not exceed 6 lbs. If your child has red marks on their shoulders that could also be a sign that the bag is to heavy.
Always make sure that your child has an age appropriate sized bag. Elementary school students will need a smaller bag than say a teenager because they do not need as many items as an older student. For those students who require a bigger bag, think of using a cross body bag and this can alter the weight evenly across the body.
When packing the bag, always place the heavier items on the bottom as the weight will be better positioned better in the bag. Only pack the necessities in the bag and if it becomes overcrowded, have the child carry the extra items in their arms if absolutely needed.
If you have concerns about your child’s back due to the extra weight from their backpack or would like to learn more about how to properly pack your child’s bag, please call AICA Orthopedics at (404) 855-2141 for a consultation today!