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How Much Your Kid’s Backpack Should Weigh, According to the American Chiropractic Association

The perfect weight is around 10 percent of your kid's weight.

Flickr woodleywonderworks

Exactly how much a child’s backpack should weigh has been a discussion that parents have been having for years. With back to school time in full swing, one New Jersey chiropractor has the perfect way to figure out if the load your child carry’s to school is too great.

According to Jeannie Baer, a New Jersey chiropractor, a kids backpack should be no more than 10 percent of their body weight. Baer calls this the green zone. But despite the fact that 10 percent of their body mass is the safest weight, Baer says that a lot of kids between the ages of eight and 12-years-old are carrying around bags that represent between 15 and 18 percent of their weight, sometimes that number can even exceed 20 percent.

When a kid ends up Carrying a backpack that’s too heavy for years and years at a time, there are certain muscle strains and pain that can develop later in life. What’s more is that a heavy backpack can do long-term damage to a child’s posture as well.

“I do see older kids or college age kids and sometimes folks in their late 20s and early 30s who have some postural issues and postural changes that have occurred because of their backpack carrying,” says Baer.

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Still, there are ways to avoid the strain of a heavy backpack becoming a problem. Baer says that the “first goal is to get a two-strap backpack” that will put the weight evenly on both of their shoulders. She says that the straps and the backside of the backpack should always be padded. These kinds of measures put less strain on the bumpy parts of a child’s shoulder and neck bones. But, Baer still notes that downsizing into the green zone and making sure that your kids aren’t carrying anything unnecessary is the only way to be sure that there won’t be any long-term effects from carrying a backpack everyday.