As many children start a new school year, parents are inundated with things to consider: school supplies, healthy meals, scheduling, and safety.
As parents help load their kids’ backpacks up with all the required supplies, it is important to consider how heavy is too heavy.
According to Kate Carr, a child safety expert, heavy backpacks are “causing more injuries: neck, back, shoulders, knees even.” At least 14,000 children are treated each year for backpack-related injuries. That’s approximately 79 injuries every single school day!
So what is an appropriate weight? Experts suggest that a backpack should weigh 10-15% of your child’s total body weight. That means that a 60-pound child’s bag should weigh no more than 9 pounds, yet it is not uncommon for children of that size to have backpacks that weigh as much as 20 pounds.
It is also important to make sure your child is wearing the backpack appropriately. The top of the backpack should be at the shoulders or above, and the bottom of the backpack shouldn’t hang lower than 2 inches below their waist.
So inspect your children’s backpacks, make sure they have healthy meals (with less than 25 grams of added sugar per day), and double check that your kids know your emergency contact information.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy new school year!