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    I recently came across these guidelines and thought I’d share them with you.   Usually, students lift more weight than they should, unaware that the maximum backpack weight load should never exceed 15% of total body weight.  The following are some simple guidelines which will help your students to avoid injuries and promote proper spinal development.
     
    -          When preparing a backpack place heavy items on the bottom.
    -          Always wear both shoulder straps.      
    -          Use a backpack with padded shoulder straps, lumbar support or wheels.
    -          Bend at the knees when you lift your backpack.
    -          Only carry what you need.           
     
                          The following chart has been released by Backpack Safety America
     
                If a child weighs 40 pounds, they can safely carry up to 6 lbs.
                If they weigh 50 pounds, they can safely carry up to 7.5 lbs.
                If they weigh 70 pounds, they can safely carry up to 10.5 lbs.
                If they weigh 80 pounds, they can safely carry up to 12 lbs.
                If they weigh 90 pounds, they can safely carry up to  13.5 lbs
                If they weigh 100 pounds, they can safely carry up to 15 lbs.
                If they weigh 120 pounds, they can safely carry up to 18 lbs.
                If they weigh 140 pounds, they can safely carry up to 21 lbs.
     
    The bones and joints of the human body do not completely fuse (fully form) until the late teen years.  Children, adolescents, and teens who carry extreme loads ( in excess  of 5% body weight) on a regular basis could expect to have deep-rooted spinal problems as adults.  These spinal problems can include disc bulges, herniations as well as scoliosis.