The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not have a formal policy statement on backpack weight, but many pediatricians recommend that the weight of your child's pack should not exceed 20 percent of his or her body weight.
Pediatricians also recommend:
- Select a style with wide,
padded shoulder straps and use a hip strap for heavier weights
- Tighten the straps to hold the pack 2 inches above the waist
- Keep the heaviest items close to the child's back with the center of gravity near the pelvis
- Use both shoulders
- Neatly and evenly pack the backpack, and try to keep items in place
- Utilize all compartments
- Ask your pediatrician about back-strengthening exercises, and teach your child to bend with both knees when picking up the backpack
- If necessarily, purchase a second set of books for home
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Additional information can be found from Backpack Safety America, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org), and the National Association of School Nurses (www.nasn.org).
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