Get Answers: Heavy Backpacks

11:14 AM, Aug 23, 2011   |    comments
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It's that time of year again, kids in Central Georgia are back in the classroom and hitting the books.

But how heavy should their load be?

Carol Solomon wrote to 13WMAZ asking, "I would like to know what is the proper way for a child to wear his/her book bag or backpack?"

She also mentions she held a child's book bag and could barely lift it herself.

When it comes to back pain, Dr. Gary Biggs knows his stuff.

But he says it's treating kids that catches his attention.

He says they typically come to him with neck and shoulder pain.

He blames the symptoms on heavy book bags worn incorrectly and stuffed with schoolwork.

"You should put it over both shoulders, and adjust it so it's about waist high as far as the length of it," he says.

He says the bag shouldn't fall more than four inches below the hips to avoid pain.

"You typically don't want more than 10% of the child's body weight in the book bag, it'll tend to cause them to lean forward which can cause them neck pain, back pain, muscle spasms, things like that," says Dr. Biggs.

He says kids should steer clear of one shoulder bags and rolling backpacks.

"They're the ones that cause you more shoulder discomfort, cause you to twist your upper body, which can again lead to muscle spasms and shoulder issues," he says.

He mentions the more padded the shoulder straps, the better, and kids should always try to distribute the weight in the backpacks evenly.

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