Back-to-school backpack safety - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Back-to-school backpack safety

(NBC News) -

When it comes to backpacks, they can be a real pain for children. As the kids head back to school, one doctor has some tips to help keep your child's back safe.

"Having a chest strap or waist strap can redistribute the pressures to the hips and across the chest area, and it's better to have a backpack that fits at the torso size," says Dr. Rosalyn Nguyen, of Baylor College of Medicine.

Nguyen said this is critical to making sure your child doesn't suffer from pain this year, or even years down the road.

"It can lead to numbness in the arm, sometimes, if it's too much compression on the nerves," she says, "It can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain (and) muscle aches."

Two-inch or wider should straps are also recommended.

Pediatric experts recommend 10 to 15 percent of your kids' body weight as the maximum amount they can carry on their backs. This means that if your child weighs about 70 pounds, about 10 pounds would be the max. However, Nguyen says parents should aim for less.

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