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14K Kids Treated for Backpack Injuries Annually

14,000 Children Treated for Backpack Injuries Every Year

When students return to school, they are given a pile of books, reading material, and other supplies needed for their every day use. Soon enough, students are stuffing their backpacks to capacity with these supplies, and lugging them back and forth between home and the classroom. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children are suffering from the weight the bags on their backs. So much, that an estimated 5,000 children take a trip to the emergency room each year, and more than 14,000 children are treated annually for injuries, according to a recent article in The Huffington Post. 

The weight of a child's backpack should be less than 10 to 15 percent of a child's body weight, said The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' website

"Backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers," the site said. "Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems."

The site also offers guidelines for choosing the right backpack. The AAOS suggests that a child's backpack should have wide, padded shoulder straps, a padded back, waist strap, two shoulder straps, and can also have a rolling option. In regards to injury prevention, the site said to "always use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed across the child's back." They also said to pack "heavier things low and towards the center."

There are also tips for parents, including encouraging to tell their children to inform them when they feel any "numbness, tingling, or discomfort in the arms or legs."

The Huffington Post article features a diagram equipped with what heavy backpacks are doing to students' neck, upper back, shoulders, hips, lower back, and knees. The article also gives parents and students tips on the best backpacks to avoid these injuries. 

Read the full story.

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

 

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