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How much weight is safe for a student to carry in a backpack?

A safe amount of weight for a student to carry in a backpack is 10 to 15 percent of their body weight. Most 6th graders carry more than that in their backpacks.

It's not uncommon to see very young children trudging off to school loaded down with an overstuffed backpack. Unfortunately, this can cause back pain and joint problems. Children should not carry more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight in a backpack. So, a 50-pound child should not carry more than 5 to 10 pounds. Having a properly fitting backpack and wearing it correctly (using both shoulder straps) is also important.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.