Children buckling under weight of heavy and poorly designed school bags, a charity has warned.
Back health charity BackCare said as many as 80 per cent of children carry too much weight in poorly designed bags and in the most harmful way - on one shoulder. It warned that excessive load-bearing for long periods on immature spines could put children at increased risk of future back problems in adulthood.
BackCare's chief executive Sash Newman said: 'Other factors like badly designed school chairs also contribute to the problem, but back pain is a real problem for some children, causing an estimated 15 per cent to seek medical help. It's important for parents to take care over the backpack their child uses for school and try to ensure he or she wears it correctly.'
The charity said a child's backpack should weigh no more than 10 per cent of the child's body weight and it should be worn over both shoulders so the weight is distributed correctly across the back. It said a well-designed schoolbag with a padded back panel is far more comfortable and less fatiguing.