Keep your children healthy with their backpacks - | WBTV Charlotte

Keep your children healthy with their backpacks

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Kids are back in school and finally getting into a routine. But, there is one thing you need to make certain they are doing right or it could risk their health.

It all has to do with their backpack. 

"Backpacks are such an important part of a child's day and not using them correctly really can cause them back pain and neck pain issues," Dr. Jennifer Squires said.

Backpacks with the wider, padded straps are important. If a strap is too narrow, it will dig into the shoulder and can actually cause tingling and numbness. So, the wider, padded straps help distribute the weight. 

Another important thing is having lots of different compartments because it helps distribute the weight more evenly. You want the majority of the weight close to the body. 

"You know, kids should not have it on one shoulder. They shouldn't be letting is sag down to their backsides," Dr. Squires said. "They need to have that weight up close to their back. I know it's not as cool, but if we can get it in Vogue."

"It really can cause back pain, neck strain and shoulder pain having it only on one shoulder," she continued. "It affects posture, they start slumping. It can cause a lot of issues having it just on one side."

There is a maximum recommended weight in a backpack, which is 10-15% of the child's weight. 

"So it does vary based on if you've got a 50 pound child -- you've got 5 to 7 pounds," Dr. Squires said. "And really, anything above that they should be leaving at school or figuring out a way to, maybe burn. Get the books on CD's or teachers are doing a lot more online teaching and learning."

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