Beware of backpacks: 14,000 kids treated yearly for injuries

Posted at 5:27 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 11:08:05-04

Does your child have the heavy backpack blues already? Lugging around school supplies that feel more like a sack of bowling balls?

Doctors warn that if a backpack is more than 20 percent a child's body weight, spinal disc compression could occur, leading to severe neck and back pain for kids.

"Imagine your disc is like a jelly donut and it's nice and plump, but when you add weight (it compresses)," says Dr. Sheyan Armaghani from the Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

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More than 14,000 kids suffer backpack-related injuries every year. If a backpack is over that 20 percent mark, the weight should be redistributed; have kids carry heavier books and lunches in hands.

Also, a backpack should have thick cushy straps and always worn over both shoulders; sure, the one-shoulder carry looks cool but could do serious muscular damage.

Droopy backpacks are also a no-no; wear backpacks, especially heavier ones, high on the back and tight.