Backpacks A Heavy Burden for Kids

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Backpacks carried to and from school by the average American child are too heavy for safety and need to be reduced, warns a new report.

The University of California, San Diego-led study included five girls and five boys, aged 13, who wore identical backpacks fitted with pressure sensors in the shoulder straps. The children first carried 10 percent of their body weight in the packs, then 20 percent, and finally 30 percent of their body weight.

With each increase in weight, the children reported increased shoulder pain levels. Surface pressure was higher than the pressure threshold (30mmHg) that obstructs normal skin and muscle blood flow.