|Updated: 8/21/2012 6:03 pm
||Published: 8/21/2012 5:13 pm
Parents, listen up. Your child could be shouldering too much weight in their school backpack.
FOX23 spent the day at one local high school to find out what kind of strain heavy books can put on your child’s health.
At Hale High School, we met up with senior, Hannah Southard. She runs cross country and also plays volleyball.
"With weight training you have to keep your posture, but with all of these books its hard because it makes you slump back or forward, it just depends,” she says.
We asked her to place her backpack on our scale to see just how heavy it is. With only two books inside, it weighed between 9 and 10 pounds.
Chiropractors we spoke with say your child’s backpack should weigh anywhere from 10 to 20% of their full body weight.
“Whenever I wear my backpack, my lower back hurts because of the books that I carry,” says Southard.
Chiropractors say athletes are putting muscle memory into place by hunching over with a heavy backpack, and that will reinforce muscle memory in a negative way.
Such is the case with sophomore baseball player, Geoffery Rash. We tested his backpack and it weighed an astonishing 20 pounds.
“With 20 pounds it puts a whole lot of extra weight that I don't really like because you're either leaning way forward or way back,” says Rash.
With added weight, comes added pain.
"It's mainly right here on the shoulder where the bands are, and it's just a whole lot of unnecessary weight that I don't like,” says Rash.
One way to eliminate pain is by tightening the straps. Also, doctors recommend having your child carry any heavy books in their hands instead of their backpack.
If you happen to notice your child is experiencing back, shoulder or neck pain, one of the ways you can eliminate that is by taking them to a chiropractor to get an adjustment.
Chiropractors also recommend buying a backpack with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt.
You can always encourage your child to wear their backpack on both shoulders and finally, keep a copy of your child’s textbooks at your house so they don’t have to bring them home all the time.