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School can literally be a pain in the neck, says Mayo therapist



Backpacks are getting too heavy. It’s not so much the workload students are inundated with, but the literal weight can hurt their body.

Mayo Health System occupational therapist Dawn Ortiz says the backpack shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of your child’s weight.

“There’s increased risk for neck and shoulder problems that can also lead to back issues as well,” she said.

When looking for a backpack, Ortiz says have your child try it on — and fill it up before doing so.

“Make sure that backpack is not going to be sticking up above their head or hanging down below their butt,” she said, adding that more padding is also better.

Aside from a backpack that’s too heavy messing up a kids posture, Ortiz mentions it could also simply leading to them falling over — which wouldn’t be great if they’re running on stairs, for example.

She added that a backpack should be snug around the shoulders.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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