Martha Jefferson HealthWise--August 15th

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 21 Thousand school children are trated for backpack related injuries each year. Dr. Brian Casazza, a Spine and Sports Medicine Doctor at Martha Jefferson Hospital discusses some of the problems related to backpacks.

He sees a good bit of children who are dealing with strain and some fractures in their spine due to having overly heavy backpacks. The main problem with certain backpacks is individuals using them improperly. People are putting way too much weight in the packs and they don’t wear them properly. Some helpful features when owning a backpack are wheeled backpacks, padded straps, tighten straps bringing the load close to the body and proper fit.

It rather simple really, to insure a healthier spine, put less weight in backpacks. A pack should be as heavy as 10% of the body weight of a child. Keep books in lockers or buys an extra set of books that you keep at home or photo copy lesson assignments. The worst habits when carrying a backpack are when people feel it is too heavy to carry the backpack on their backs, so they will carry it on their sides. This is worse for the spine because it shifts all the weight to one side and puts more strain on the spine.

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