Back to School Tips: The right bags for your back - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Back to School Tips: The right bags for your back

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LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

As you head out for back-to-school shopping these next couple of weeks, buying just the right book bag could make a difference for your student's health.

Experts say wearing the wrong kind of backpack or carrying them incorrectly causes damage to the nerves and spines of students each year.

"You have about 40 million students carrying backpacks around this time of year, many of them young children, and you know about 20 million carry them incorrectly," said Dr. David Wren, Leesburg Chiropractor.

Improper use sends several to the hospital for damage caused by heavy weight.

"There's about 13,000 emergency room and physician visits a year from children, complaining of neck and back pain and even tingling in their arms, due to the carrying of book bags," said Wren.

To prevent injury, there's several aspects to keep in mind before purchasing a bag.

The brand doesn't necessarily matter, as long as there are two padded straps and a waist strap, with light weight material and several compartments.

"Make sure that you're doing what you need to do with the book bag," said Wren. "Make sure you carry it correctly and making sure the weight is evenly distributed makes a big difference."

The heaviest items should be loaded closest to the child's back and it shouldn't hang more than 4 inches below the waist.

It's also important to not overstuff the bag. It shouldn't weigh more than 10% or 15% of a child's body weight.

"If they're 150 pounds then maybe 15 pounds," said Wren. "But that is really as much weight as you want to distribute on the spine."

Experts say following these guidelines to ensure your student is properly carrying their books can help them get through another safe and painless school year.

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