Believe it or not, too much homework can be bad for your health. But don’t worry kids, there are things you can do to ensure that homework is painless! And no, we don’t mean avoiding assignments.

Though school is in session for most, it’s never too late to talk about backpack safety. This week’s blog backpacksdiscusses the trouble with heavy backpacks and provides tips to keep in mind when shopping for a backpack.

Backpacks, Back Problems

According a recent U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study, more than 75% of students ages 8-12 suffer from increasing back pain inflicted by carrying their schoolwork and supplies in backpacks or similar totes.

This is no surprise considering, some of our younger elementary school students are literally carrying one third their body weight for prolonged periods of time and distance.

That puts a lot of stress on a body in the midst of development. Student back injuries are now widespread. 96% of the pupils monitored regularly haul much too heavy a pack on their back.

Backpack Safety Tips

1. Children should not carry backpacks that exceed more than 10% of their body weight — which translates into a 5 to 10-pound load for elementary students.

2. When backpack shopping be sure to invest in a backpack that is light, has thick adjustable shoulder straps, a padded back and fits properly!

3. You should approach purchasing a backpack like purchasing a helmet. Be sure your child is with you so that he or she can try it on and make sure it fits.

4. Always pack heaviest items closest to the body.

Here’s to less pain, less missed school, and greater ability to stay active this year! 

“Backpack-Related Injuries Send 7,000 to ER,” Ancaster News, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 1, 2006.
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