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Lugging Heavy Backpacks Is Bad for Kids’ Health

By Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, Journal Review, 04/18/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Select the proper size. Your child’s backpack should be no wider and no longer than his or her torso.

Dear Doctor: Our sons are ages 9, 11 and 14, and like all of the other schoolkids we know, they’re hauling around crazy-huge backpacks all day. What does that weight do to a child’s back? Can carrying a heavy backpack every day cause scoliosis?

Dear Reader: We hear from a lot of parents about the hefty load children carry around while they’re at school. 

By the time kids stow all of the textbooks, notebooks, laptops, tablets, binders, snacks, water and miscellaneous school supplies they’ll need during a typical day, these packs can easily tip the scales at 10 pounds — and frequently much more.