Consumer Reports weighed backpacks at three New York City schools, reports the New York Times’ Well blog. Elementary students carried only about five pounds, but the weight soared in sixth grade.
On average, 6th graders in the study were carrying backpacks weighting 18.4 pounds, although some backpacks weighed as much as 30 pounds.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s backpack weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s weight. Consumer Reports recommends keeping the weight closer to 10 percent of a child’s weight.
Glenn Reynolds estimates his daughter’s backpack is one third of her weight.