Overloaded backpacks can injure kids: experts

August 26, 2012
Overloaded backpacks can injure kids: experts
Some tips to lighten the load as the school year approaches.

(HealthDay)—As the school season starts, experts warn that overloaded backpacks often result in back injuries among children.

More than 13,700 kids aged 5 to 18 were treated in hospitals and doctors' offices for backpack-related injuries in a single year, according to the U.S. .

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) advises parents and caregivers to pay close attention to children's posture and not wait for them to complain about back pain before lightening their load.

"When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day," Dr. Melanie Kinchen, an and AAOS spokeswoman, said in an academy news release. "Backpack injuries are commonly caused by wearing overloaded backpacks, as well as lifting and carrying them incorrectly. should guide kids to take . 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 suggested several additional ways to help children avoid pain and discomfort from wearing a backpack.

  • Use both shoulder straps to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack.
  • Tighten the straps and use a waist strap if available.
  • Place the biggest items in the backpack closest to the back, but remove anything that is too heavy.
  • Bend at the knees and use the legs when picking up a backpack.
  • Only carry essential items in the backpack. Leave extra books at home or school whenever possible.
  • Do not leave backpacks in aisles or walkways to avoid falls.
  • Parents and caregivers should encourage children to speak up about any pain or discomfort they feel while wearing their backpack, particularly or tingling in the arms or legs.
  • Children should only wear backpacks that are appropriate for their size.
  • Parents and caregivers should be aware of any posture changes in their child or red marks on their shoulders from wearing their backpack.
  • Parents should talk to schools about ways to lighten children's load, such as allowing them to stop at their lockers during the day or taking the weight of students' backpacks into account when preparing lessons.

Explore further: Heavy rucksacks storing up back problems for many school-kids

More information:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers back-to-school health tips.


Related Stories

Heavy rucksacks storing up back problems for many school-kids

March 15, 2012
Significant numbers of teens regularly carry rucksacks for school which top 10 to 15 per cent of their body weight and risk back pain and other related disorders, finds research published online in the Archives of Disease ...

Powerbag brings energy boost to electronics show

January 9, 2012
A backpack is handy for carrying things around but how about one that can also charge your smartphone?

Heavy metal hardens battle

July 20, 2011
The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armour, say researchers.

Warning about keeping and storing medicines

May 31, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Many people keep their medicines in places that may be too hot and humid, or too cold, to keep them safe to use, new University of Otago research suggests.

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.