Your Ad Here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Consumer Reports: Children Could Be Carrying Too Much Weight in Their Backpacks

When parents are sending their children back to school this fall, they should check their backpacks to ensure they aren't too heavy. Consumer Reports found some sixth graders who carried an average weight of 18.4 pounds in their backpacks -- about 17.2 percent of their body weight. A loaded backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of a child's total weight, but Consumer Reports recommends staying closer to 10 percent.

To gauge how much weight children are carrying around, Consumer Reports' technicians visited three elementary schools in Amityville, N.Y., and weighed 56 kids from second, fourth and sixth grades both with their backpacks and without. Not surprisingly, the sixth-graders had the heaviest load at an average backpack weight of 18.4 pounds. Next came the second-graders' backpacks at 5.3 pounds and finally the fourth-graders had the smallest average backpack weight at 4.6 pounds.

To ensure a child's backpack is as safe as possible, Consumer Reports advises that the pack should sit about 2 inches above the waist, and with shoulder straps close to the body. Also, the straps should be shortened (and the excess length fastened securely out of the way) so they can't get stepped on or caught in doors. Below are some of the features Consumer Reports recommends looking for when shopping for a new backpack this fall:

-- Shoulder straps that are contoured and padded to soften the load of the pack on a child's back. -- A waist belt to stabilize the pack and transfer weight to the hips.
-- A padded or quilted back or one with mesh fabric to make the bag less sweaty on steamy days.
-- Compression straps on the sides of the pack to tighten a partially-filled backpack.
-- Reflective trim on the back and sides of the pack to add visibility in the fall and winter months, when kids may travel to and from school in near darkness.

Watch more breaking news now on our video feed:

Bookmark and drop back in sometime.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home