Back to school: Backpack safety tips


(CNN) — Many parents are trying to get their children ready for the new school year.

But, packing too many supplies in your child’s backpack could do more harm than good.

As Mandy Gaither explains, carrying too much weight can put a serious strain on students.

Orthopedic surgeon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. Nicholas Fletcher said, “It’s remarkable how many children I see in my practice for back pain.”

Loaded backpacks don’t help, in fact, at the beginning of every school year there is an uptick in young patients who come to see Dr. Fletcher.

The first thing he says can help is to make sure your child uses both straps so the load is evenly weighted.

How the bag is packed can also cause pain.

Dr. Fletcher says children should carry no more than 10 or 20 percent of their own body weight.

Heaviest things, like books, should be closest to the back, with lighter items like notebooks or a pencil box in the front.

Dr. Fletcher also says parents should ago through backpacks to make sure they’re not being overloaded with unnecessary items.

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