Doctors: Heavy backpacks could seriously injure children

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — All this week, Eyewitness News is helping parents get back into the swing of things as a new school year approaches.

When it comes to school supplies – backpacks are one of the first things parents think of.

But according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,14,000 children are treated for backpack related injuries every year.

Doctors say many kids often carry backpacks that are much to heavy, leading to muscle strains and chronic lower back pain.

Officials say the weight limit for backpacks should be between 10-to-20 percent of a student’s body weight. But physicians say kids are often carrying more than that – and it’s having consequences on their health.

“It’s a constant problem, the backpacks can weigh more than the child sometimes,” said Dr. Mark Lee of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “Most of the time if the backpack is way too heavy you will see kids either leaning way forward or way backward.”

Doctors say encouraging kids to wear both straps of a backpack can make a big difference.

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