Heavy backpacks may lead to back pain in students

Heavy backpacks may lead to back pain in students
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - Between studying, homework, and after-school activities, being back in the classroom may have some students feeling like the world's weight is on their shoulders. And if their backpack is overloaded, that feeling may be right.

"An over-sized or over-packed backpack for a child can lead to back pain," said Cheryl Ellisor, CHI St. Luke's Health Outpatient Therapy.

A backpack with too much stuff is something Ellisor's own daughter has experienced.

"She has an entire pack of pens, a whole ream of paper. She doesn't need all of that right now. So take out the supplies you don't need and keep the extra either at school or at home," Ellisor said.

Administrators at Huntington Elementary School already have a procedure in place to keep students from lugging around too much.

"A lot of our books stay here at the school, and they don't really take them back and forth to the home," said Tammy Hughes, Huntington Elementary School's nurse.

Students in Huntington ISD are also equipped with tablets and laptops in order to access their books electronically.

"Just from the time in older generations when we carried five books, they don't have that these days," Hughes said.

However, if you're still unpacking your child's bag the old-fashioned way, here's a simple rule to follow.

"The weight of the backpack should not exceed about 15 percent of the child's weight If he or she weighs about 80 pounds, the backpack should not exceed 15 pounds," Ellisor said.

Which means it's as simple as ...

"Weigh your child, weigh your backpack," Ellisor said.

Experts say it's important that your child's backpack has straps which are padded and wide. Both will help in providing balanced support.

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