Is your child's backpack the size of a minivan? Has your child complained of back or neck pain due to a heavy backpack? If so, they're not alone.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Thousands of kids are treated each year for backpack-related injuries.
"It can lead to numbness in the arms sometimes if its too much compression on the nerves, if it's far too heavy. And neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle aches," said Dr. Rosalyn Nguyen, a sports medicine physician.
To prevent injuries, experts suggest a backpack not weigh more than 10 percent of a child's body weight. The American Chiropractor Association recommends a backpack not hang more than four inches below the waistline. ACA also recommends backpacks with wide, padded shoulder straps and urge your child to wear both straps to distribute weight evenly.
Click here for more tips to prevent backpack-related injuries.
Maybe one reason students are carrying around oversized bags all day, is because they refuse to use their lockers. Fort Zumwalt East Principal, Brian Bishop noticed many students prefer a large backpack over using their locker.
"They just don't use lockers. I remember when I was in school you would go to your locker between every passing period, they will not do that. They'll more hang out with their friends in the hallway and carry their backpacks," Bishop said.
Several students told our Ryan Dean they don't have time to use their locker if they want to make it to class on time. Students also said it was just easier to wear the backpack then having to grab books and other supplies out of their locker.
"That's doing too much. I only have five minutes to get to class...I don't have time," one student said.
Did you miss the story on heavy backpacks that aired Wednesday morning on Today in St. Louis? You can watch it above.