Back to school: Stuffing the backpack can take a toll on your back

Health

(ABC News) – Kids are usually more interested in the color and key chains on their backpacks, but did you know that the straps matter too?

In 2018, over 50,000 people were treated in emergency departments and clinics for backpack related injuries like back and neck pain–and thin backpack straps without cushioning are a common culprit.

The experts at the American Academy of Orthopedics give us some simple tips to prevent backpack related injuries.

First, choose a backpack with wide, well-padded shoulder straps. That way, the weight of the bag is distributed evenly.

Don’t let their backpacks sag or it can hurt. Doctors recommend tightening straps to keep the load in closer.

And ditch the extra textbooks and yesterday’s uneaten banana. Anything heavier than 10-20% of your kid’s body weight, that’s about 15 pounds for an 80 pound child, can cause injury.

See a sign of struggle? If your kid tells you they’re having pain, take it seriously. Encourage them to stop often at their lockers, and, when in doubt, leave it out.

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