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Medical Experts Urge Parents to Watch the Weight of Their Child's Backpack

We all know from experience, that it doesn't take much for a backpack to get really heavy. Add in textbooks, binders and maybe a laptop and it's not a good combination. Here's why.

Medical experts say the heavier a backpacks is, the bigger toll it takes on your back, shoulders, and neck. The same is true when the weight of it isn't distributed evenly. Now there are some solutions to make sure you don't get hurt just carrying your backpack to and from school. "A child should carry a backpack no heavier than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight so like an 80 pound child the backpack shouldn't be heavier than 8 to 16 pounds," says Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Cathy Ortscheid.

So how do you know the exact weight? The answer is simple. She says use your bathroom scale.

As far as making sure your backpack is weighted evenly, make sure all of the compartments are filled so that everything isn't just in one spot. When it comes to picking out a backpack, experts say make sure there's two straps to it and that they're padded. Don't be afraid to use the waist strap that often comes with it, but the biggest thing of all seems to be just keeping that backpack as light as possible.


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