Despite the fact that most kids have lockers in school, you might be surprised to learn how often they have to carry around their backpacks with them. I don't know about you, but it feels like my son's supplies weigh more and more each school year. Unlike adults, children's bodies are still growing and forming throughout much of the time they spend in school. Adding a disproportionately bulky backpack to their day can have unexpected effects on their developing bodies. So, what are some of the things that happen in your kid's body when their backpack is too heavy?
There are two factors to keep in mind when you're helping your child pack their backpack each day: the weight (which should not exceed 10 to 20 percent of your kid's weight) and the support that the backpack offers. "This year kids will be reaching for Moana and Emoji backpacks, not even thinking about whether they offer support," Dr. Karena Wu, a physical therapist, tells Romper. "Parents often grab a backpack because of the theme, not because of its safety factor." The first step to making sure your child stays safe and healthy is choosing form and function over fashion and fads.
As someone who lives with scoliosis and a connective tissue disorder, I'm no stranger to dealing with back pain and health issues that are exacerbated by unavoidable daily activities like picking up my son, carrying groceries, or any other weight-related duties. Yet, for children who have no real say in the matter, how might having a heavy backpack affect their physical health on both a day-to-day basis and over the long term?
Honestly, the whole backpack weight thing was not an issue that ever really crossed my mind, but after learning about the safety guidelines and recommendations for what an average backpack should weigh, you might want to check out exactly what happens in your kid's body when their backpack is too heavy.