Time for School Doesn’t Have to Mean Time for Neck and Back Pain

Once again, as school systems throughout metro Atlanta and the rest of the state begin their activities, we at Conyers Family Chiropractic would like to remind you that there are several issues of which parents should be aware.

On the top of our list are book bags.  Now we’re not concerned with how cool, or even un-cool the bags may be, but of the content – or even more specifically – the weight!

As a CBS news report notes:  It’s the first day of school and Joseph Barham’s backpack is busting at the seams already.

Joseph weighs only 71 pounds, but his backpack is 22 pounds. On his walk to his second class he’s so overloaded that he can’t even stand up straight, and that is what has parents, teachers, and doctors concerned.

“We’re really seeing an epidemic of back pain in children these days,” Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Vitale told The Early Show consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen.

Vitale says he sees kids every day who have pain because of overloaded book bags. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that last year, nearly 4,000 kids went to the emergency room because of back pack injuries.

“Kids often have significant back pain that limits their activities, limits their ability to play sports and interact with peers, and it can’t be a good thing to start having back pain at the age of 5 or 6,” Vitale said.

Doctors say kids’ backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 10 percent of their body weight, but many kids carry up to 50 percent of their weight in their bags.

“I could not carry some of the things that they are carrying,” said Kathryn Glutz, principal of a New Jersey middle school.

Glutz’s school has taken steps to lighten kids’ loads. In a couple of classes, sixth graders get two sets of textbooks: one for school and one for home. Students are also taught how to be more organized.

But weight isn’t the only problem. Dr. Vitale says how kids wear their bags can also cause strain.

Pages: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *