Heavy Backpacks Weighing on Children

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JACKSON, TN.- A recent study found that six percent of ten year olds and ten to fifteen percent of twelve year olds suffer from back pain. Logan Stranak is a fifth grade student at Pope Elementary School. “When I hold my backpack for too long my shoulders hurt and I have to put it down,” Stranak said. Christian Briyson is a third grader. “It depends on what you have in your backpacks, backpacks are great because you can hold your books,” Briyson said. John Vitale is a Chiropractor in Jackson who says he has watched what can happen when a child carries a backpack that is too heavy. “It can cause stress to the spine, kids can develop low back pain due to too much stress,” Vitale said. “It can cause a lot of posture issues, I see and that is usually what happens.” As a parent, there are things you can do to ease your child’s back pain. Make sure the backpack weighs no-more than ten percent of the child’s weight. Also, backpacks should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps and never sling the backpack over one shoulder. “The best thing for them to do is lighten the load,” Vitale said. “Find backpacks that go around the inside where it goes all the way around the belly.”

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