Background: Every day children use backpacks to get their books back and forth from school. Many children carry very heavy backpacks, and there are some concerns that this could be contributing to back pain in children.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to assess, using the literature, what is the recommended weight limit that should be carried by school-aged children.
Discussion: Many organizations, such as Back Pack Safety International, are trying to educate children on how to wear their backpacks properly and on the weight limit those children should carry to minimize back pain. However, many factors such as design, weight, how it is worn, and children's physical fitness have been shown to have an influence on the development of pain caused by backpacks. As well, parents and teachers have a determining role in helping children be better organized to have lighter backpacks. The literature does not seem to agree on a set weight limit, but it is shown that to prevent back pain it should definitely not exceed 10-15%.
Conclusion: Backpacks have an influence on back pain in children and then weight limit should not exceed 10-15% of a child's body weight.
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