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Posted on 09-26-2012
At what point is a child's backpack too heavy?
As kids return to school this Fall, don't wait for them to complain about back pain. Instead, pay attention to their posture and keep an attentive eye on all of the items that are loaded into their backpack each day.
Experts recommend that kids carry no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, but that doesn't always seem to be the case. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 13,700 kids, ages 5 to 18 years old, were treated in hospitals and doctors' offices for injuries related to backpacks.
"When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day," said orthopaedic surgeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson Melanie Kinchen, MD. "Backpack injuries are commonly caused by wearing overloaded backpacks, as well as lifting and carrying them incorrectly. Parents and teachers should guide kids to take preventative measures. Start by choosing a backpack that is appropriately sized for your child or have them use a rolling backpack as an alternative to carrying their heavy load on their shoulders."
The Academy recommends the following safety tips to help eliminate pain and discomfort due to backpacks:
Teachers can help by following these tips:
Remember, prevention of injury is better than sustaining an injury!
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