STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Heavy backpacks can weigh on kid's health

CNC
Added On August 14, 2016

Back to school means many children have to lug heavy backpacks on the bus and in the classroom.

And that could mean health problems for your child.

"How do you know you've got the backpack blues, I said how do you know you've got the backpack blues..."

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MICHAEL DESOUTO, Parent

"Oh, they carry a lot of books, yes. Heavy."

The backpack blues are something Michael Desouto’s kids know all too well.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MICHAEL DESOUTO, Parent

"One of my kids is 60 pounds and his bag was probably 20 or 30 pounds."

Desouto says that just picking up one of their bags brought back memories of his time in the military.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MICHAEL DESOUTO, Parent

"We had to carry packs and gear and stuff, so I picked my kids' backpacks up before and I was like really impressed like how heavy they were, I felt like I was hauling some ammo around or something."

Doctors say kids shouldn't carry more than 10 percent of their body weight.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DR. DAN DAVIDSON, Chiropractor

"It puts a tremendous amount of stress, postural stress, and gravitational stress on the neck, upper back, shoulders, muscles, joints, so it's a pretty common problem."

Doctor Dan Davidson said he's seen at least 20 cases of back and neck pain relating to heavy backpacks in just the past year.

He thinks another growing problem is posture when kids look at electronic devices.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DR. DAN DAVIDSON, Chiropractor

"Once our head goes forward with that forward posture, gravity pulls, gravity always wins. We don't want to work against gravity, so we want to have a nice posture with sort of your ear over your shoulder without that forward slumping."

Davidson says to make sure your child's backpack is balanced and has good padding.

He thinks it could help prevent another case of the blues.

"When you've got the backpack blues. When you've got the backpack blues."