Are your children carrying school bags that are too heavy for them? Many children these days carry around a school bag similar to a "portable life support system" when they go to school, as occupational therapy clinical professor Karen Jacobs described in a CNN article. The expert says that the rule of the thumb for backpacks is that they should not weigh more than 10% of the child's weight. Heavy school bags can cause pain and other back problems, and in the long run does no good for the child.
Karen points out that the ideal school bag should be one with lightweight material, two fully padded straps and a padded back. The bag should be within the length between the shoulder blades and the waist. Parents should not get a bigger bag just because it leaves room for the child's growth in future, as bigger bags means higher chances of overfilling. When packing the school bag, the heaviest items should be placed closest to the child's back. Lastly, parents can always try to ask their children if they really need the items in the bag.
If you are keen to know more, you can read the full article of the health advice on heavy school bags.