When I was in school, I remember the “cool” way to wear your backpack was over one shoulder. No wonder my back started hurting at such an early age. That weight takes a toll on young backs, and from what I hear, the books have gotten heavier and more plentiful over the years.
Dr. Andrew Casden is the associate director of Beth Israel’s Spine Institute. Here are his 5 tips for children so that they can save themselves from backpack induced back pain.
· Reduce the weight in the pack – weight should not exceed 20% of the child’s body weight.
· Bend at the knees, not at the waist when lifting heavy packs.
· Wear the backpack over both shoulders, not slung over only one.
· Place heavy items in the back of the pack.
· Consider a pack on wheels that can be dragged rather than carried.