GMW: Dr. Brian Paris Shows How to Wear a Backpack

Imagine hauling around a microwave. It’s no different than what students carry in their backpacks every day, according to Dr. Brian Paris. Backpacks filled with textbooks, gadgets and supplies are literally weighing students down. Nearly 22,000 U.S. students are treated for backpack strains, sprains, dislocations and fractures every year. Dr. Paris demonstrates the right way to wear a backpack on NewsChannel 8’s Good Morning Washington.

Dr. Paris says students shouldn’t carry more than 10 percent of their body weight. However, elementary and middle schoolers are carrying as much as 30 pounds every day. Dr. Paris sees more backpack-related injuries than hockey injuries at his office, Advanced Wellness Systems in Rockville and Columbia.

At the top of Dr. Paris’ list of recommendations for avoiding backpack injuries is better organization and strategy. Only bring the books and materials you need and take advantage of assignments available online. In addition to packing light and distributing weight evenly, lift with your knees and carry backpacks above the hips. If your backpack has a sternum strap and hip belt, use them!

Watch Dr. Paris’ backpack tips live on NewsChannel 8 above just in time for Backpack Safety Day on September 16.