BUFFALO, N.Y. - As you transition your kids back into the school-year schedule, experts suggest you give their back health some thought.
"It actually is a really common risk," Kira Eimiller, a physical therapist, said. "About 50 percent of students will at some point have some back or neck pain from carrying backpacks incorrectly."
Eimiller recommends three easy steps to avoid any issues.
First, she said to make sure the backpack has two straps to evenly distribute weight. The thicker the straps, the better. Also, it is a bonus if the bag comes with a chest or waist strap.
Second, she said to tighten the backpack so that it is against the child's back and not dropping more than two inches below their waist.
Third, she said to pack the bag with the heaviest books closest to the back and leave as much as you can in a locker, if your child has one.
Kira added to keep the weight of the bag under 15 percent of the child's body weight.
"We spend so much time getting the perfect outfit and making sure we have all the right school supplies and it only takes 3 to 5 minutes just to think about it."
If you would like a professional to do a double check on your child's backpack, Sisters Hospital is hosting a backpack fitting and giveaway on September 12 at the Hope Center. The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m.
Physical therapists will be on hand and the first 150 kids will get a free backpack.
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