Its estimated 40-million students in the US carry backpacks, and many of them are feeling some pain.
"We see quite a few children with back pain, quite a few during the school year and many attribute their back pain to heavy book bags," said Dr. Robert Bruce, Emory School of Medicine.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 7.300 injuries were treated in US emergency rooms in 2006 because of backpacks, from sprains and strains to lacerations from heavy bags hitting other people.
"I put backpack problems into the overuse injury category, in other words you have a child who is doing something that is overusing or overstressing or overstraining the body," says Dr. Bruce.
Among Dr. Bruce's recommendations: get a rolling backpack to lighten the load.
"Check that backpack on a regular basis, they are typically full of unnecessary items. Have a good backpack. Have a backpack that brings the weight as close to the body as possible. Certainly wider straps, straps that distribute force over the shoulders over a greater area are safer," says Dr. Bruce.
Dr. Bruce tells patients to use their locker to store unneeded books or better yet, leave them at home instead of carrying the extra weight.