Is your child's backpack too heavy?

Often everything a child needs at school can be found in one place, on their back in a backpack. From books to pencils and other school supplies, it all gets toted around in a backpack, but all the stuff can really add up in weight. Dr. Charles Lehnardt, D.O., with Kirksville Family Medicine stopped by the set of Good Morning Heartland to break it down for us. Dr. Lehnardt recommends bags not weigh more than 10% to 15% of the studentâ??s body weight. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE to learn more.

To prevent injury when using a backpack, do the following:

  • Always use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed across the child's back.

  • Tighten the straps to keep the load closer to the back.

  • Organize the items: pack heavier things low and towards the center.

  • Pack light, removing items if the backpack is too heavy. Carry only those items that are required for the day, and if possible, leave unnecessary books at home or school.

Parents also can help:

  • Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about numbness, tingling, or discomfort in the arms or legs which may indicate poor backpack fit or too much weight being carried.

  • Watch your child put on or take off the backpack to see if it is a struggle. If the backpack seems too heavy for the child, have them remove some of the books and carry them in their arms to ease load on the back.

Kirksville Family Medicine

Gutensohn Clinic

800 West Jefferson