The words parents love and many kids hate: back to school. Along with buying the requisite school supplies, it might be time to take a closer look at what carries those supplies -- the backpack.
Backpacks have been popular with schoolchildren for decades and always have been intended to make a student's life easier. But, sometimes that's not the case.
Some physicians are concerned about the dangers of overloaded backpacks causing injury to students' backs. According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 7,000 students visit emergency rooms each year as a result of injuries related to book bags.
Physical therapists are seeing children coming to them with pain, numbness and tingling caused by their backpacks, but the good news is that there are a number of behavioral changes to prevent the problem from starting.
Maggie Mulcahy, a Hilton Head Hospital pediatric occupational therapist, recommends that to help prevent injury, parents should be careful about how they pack their child's backpack and how their child wears it. Her suggestions include:
If a child is experiencing back issues of an unusual nature, such as numbness or tingling, Mulcahy advises parents contact their personal pediatric physician for an examination.