Doctors raise awareness about heavy backpacks ahead of school year

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -- Michael DeSouto's kids said they often carry backpacks full of books from school.

"Oh, they carry a lot of books," DeSouto said. "One of my kids is 60 pounds and his bag was probably 20 or 30 pounds."

DeSouto says that just picking up one of their bags brought back memories of his time in the military.

"We had to carry packs of gear, so I picked my kid's backpack up before and I was like really impressed like how heavy they were," DeSouto said. "I felt like I was hauling some ammo around or something."

Doctors say kids shouldn't carry more than 10 percent of their body weight.

Dr. Dan Davidson said he's seen at least 20 cases of back and neck pain relating to heavy backpacks in just the past year.

He thinks another growing problem is posture when kids look at electronic devices.

"It puts a tremendous amount of stress, postural stress, gravitational stress on the upper back, shoulders, muscles, joints, so it's a pretty common problem," Dr. Davidson said.

Dr. Davidson says to make sure your child's backpack is balanced and has good padding.