Doctors' tips for backpack safety - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Doctors' tips for backpack safety

Updated: Aug 25, 2013 10:06 AM
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock
  • What's Going AroundMore>>

  • What's Going Around - July 16th

    What's Going Around - July 16th

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-16 15:33:28 GMT
    If you're suffering from an upset stomach, you're not alone. That's what's going around.More >>
    If you're suffering from an upset stomach, you're not alone. That's what's going around.More >>
  • What's Going Around - July 9th

    What's Going Around - July 9th

    Thursday, July 10 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-07-10 13:19:28 GMT
    Overexposure to the sun can cause both short and long term problems, and doctors are treating a lot of those this week.More >>
    Overexposure to the sun can cause both short and long term problems, and doctors are treating a lot of those this week.More >>
  • What's Going Around - July 2nd

    What's Going Around - July 2nd

    Wednesday, July 2 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-02 15:51:51 GMT
    Yellow flies are pesky insects that have been causing issues since Spring.  Doctors are treating a lot of allergic reactions from the bites. More >>
    Yellow flies are pesky insects that have been causing issues since Spring.  Doctors are treating a lot of allergic reactions from the bites. More >>

SUNDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- If made well and used properly, backpacks are ideal for carrying school books and supplies, but they can be uncomfortable and even lead to injury if they're too heavy or if children don't wear them properly, doctors warn.

"When used correctly, backpacks are the most efficient way to carry a load and distribute the weight among some of the body's strongest muscles," Dr. Eric Wall, at the orthopedic surgery division of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a center news release. "However, parents need to carefully select a backpack to ensure that they are comfortable and do not cause injury."

Doctors at the medical center recommend the following backpack guidelines for parents:

Keep it light. A backpack should be lightweight and no more than 15 or 20 percent of a child's body weight.

Look for padding. A child's backpack should have two wide and padded shoulder straps and a cushioned back.

Consider straps. Children's backpacks should have a waist strap. Parents should remind their children to also use both shoulder straps and make sure they are tight.

Keep it balanced. Students should organize their books so the heaviest are centered. They should also spread out their supplies, using all of the backpack's compartments.

Lighten the load. Encourage kids to stop at their locker to remove any unnecessary books from their backpack so they are not carrying extra weight during the day.

Teach proper lifting. Children should bend their knees and use their legs when lifting a backpack.

Be aware of surroundings. Remind children to not swing their backpack if other people are standing nearby. They should also not leave their backpack on the floor where someone might trip over it.

Backpacks often lead to shoulder or back pain. Children who complain about this discomfort should be evaluated by a doctor, the experts advised.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more information on backpack safety.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.