Child Orthopedics

Frequently Asked Questions

I've been reading about kids carrying heavy backpacks to school and getting hurt because of them. Shouldn't something be done about that?

The medical community is concerned about the weight of the backpacks that some students are carrying around. They are recommending that parents be sure that their children have good, well-made backpacks with proper straps, including one that goes around the waist, to help distribute the pack's weight evenly. The children have to learn good habits that include using both shoulder straps, instead of just one, and using the waist strap. Another alternative would be to use the backpacks with the wheels.

If possible, children should be discouraged from bringing too many books back and forth to school. Perhaps parents can get together and discuss this with the school's administration and teachers. Some parents have resorted to buying a second copy of the text books so that their children will not have to bring one home.

Eric J. Bousema et al. Disuse and physical deconditioning in the first year after the onset of back pain. In Pain. July 2007. Vol. 130. Pp. 278-286.

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