Backpack safety - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Backpack safety

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TYLER (KYTX) - From elementary school to college, many students are sporting their backpacks again. But, they can often be too heavy or not provide enough support. The way you wear your backpack is also very important.

"All of them. I mean, they all use backpacks." says Dustin Massey.

He has three school-aged children.

"They're hard on their backs. I mean, she complains about her back hurting sometimes."

He says that's concerning.

"The older you get- like, I've got back problems."

Dr. Melanie Wick with Mother Frances Hospital says your children can avoid back pain by wearing a backpack that has plenty of support.

"We want to look for wide, padded straps. That helps them distribute the weight."

And, she says students need to wear both straps.

"I think a lot of people tend to carry their backpack 'the cool way'- not necessarily the most comfortable and supportive way."

She says slinging your backpack over just one shoulder can create pain and poor posture.

"Once it gets heavy, you're going to start either leaning to the side or start using a lot of muscles to keep from leaning to the side."

And, she says if you're having a hard time picking up your child's backpack, it's probably too heavy for them.

"If I had to 'guesstimate,' it'd probably get up there about 70-80 pounds sometimes." says Massey. 

"Does your child have space in their home room? do they have a locker?" says Dr. Wick. 

That's where 12-year-old Brooklyn Massey likes to store her backpack.

"I leave it in my locker most of the time." she says. 

"If your child has back pain or you're noticing a change in posture, then they probably need an evaluation to make sure there's nothing else going on."

You also want to make sure your child's backpack is made of thick material that doesn't allow pencils or sharp objects to poke through and possibly hurt them.

Dr. Wick says it might be smart to switch to a rolling backpack if your child is still having issues wearing it on their back.

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