As public schools start this week in Portland, OR, and after Labor Day in Beaverton-Aloha, OR, it is a good reminder for parents to keep their children healthy. Many children are carrying more weight in their backpack than they should. Excessive weight carried by children increases their risk for developing back pain. Current guidelines for backpack weight recommend a maximum of 10-15% of the body weight of child. Heavy backpacks have been linked to back, neck, and shoulder pain in children and adolescent patients.
Tips for reducing backpack weight:
Being aware of the child's posture while he or she is wearing a backpack can help identify the problem. A heavy backpack changes the center of gravity for the child. The child should not have to lean forward in order to maintain balance while standing.