How your child should be wearing their backpack


Parker Hutchinson is packing up his new school supplies. He's starting 4th grade in a couple weeks, and has all of his school shopping done.

But his backpack is jammed full, making the bag heavy on Parker’s back.

“Knowing the strain it puts on their back, it is a concern sometimes. Especially since my son is getting older, he's bringing home bigger books,” said Kristina Hutchinson, Parker’s mom.

Kristina said she Parker doesn't even have his textbooks yet, and he already looks weighted down by his pack.

“Yes, it's very heavy,” Parker said.

Dr. Jeff Kelly owns Tri-City Chiropractic. He said the bulky backpacks can lead to issues of scoliosis, deterioration, and compressed discs.

“We're running into back pain. The backpacks these kids are wearing are way too heavy,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, a backpack should weigh no more than 10 percent of your weight.

That means a 100-pound child should only have a backpack that weighs 10 pounds.

That's easier said than done, right?

Kelly said when it is too heavy, at least make sure you're wearing it right.

“Making sure both straps are actually on the child,” Kelly said.

Kelly showed us how a backpack should fit your student using his son, Weston, as a model.

“Got a padded strap, and this is pretty good,” Kelly said. “His waist line is right here, we really only want that at most 4-inches below the waistline, the bottom of the backpack.”

Kelly said if the backpack is lower than 4-inches below the waist, that causes the student to lean forward, increasing back pain.

So, we put Parker and his little sister Addison’s backpacks to the test.

Going into kindergarten, Addison's backpack was too light for even the scale to register, which was good.

Parker’s weighed in at 8.6 pounds, perfect for his size.

Kristina still worries it'll be heavier after the first day of school, though.

“I'm constantly telling him ‘Use both straps, put it on the right way instead of one shoulder.’ Whether he listens to me or not, I don't know,” she said.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer


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