Consumer Watch: Backpacks and back pain

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 4:36 PM

(WHAS11) -- It's back to school season and that means students are hitting the books, but lugging around hefty backpacks can bring on back pain.

Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has today’s Consumer Watch.

Often everything a child needs at school can be found on their back. From books and notebooks to pencils and other school supplies, it all gets toted around in a backpack and that can be a backbreaking problem.

All that stuff can really add up in weight, said Dr. David Marshall, Medical Director of Sports Medicine at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. “We're starting to see more and more back pain complaints in the doctors and the sports medicine offices and the question is, is there a correlation between back packs and back pain?” Dr. Marshall, said.

Marshall is demonstrating how he advises his own daughter to properly wear hers. “The way she has it adjusted, it's way too low, the weight of the backpack should never be lower than the waist line so the straps should be adjusted so that the backpack fits high up on her shoulders. The shoulder straps need to be two of them not just one and also they need to be wide and padded,” the concerned father, advises. He recommends the use of an abdominal strap to his daughter. “That will also help redistribute the load evenly across child's back without having the effect of 10 pounds pulling back on their shoulders then," Dr. Marshall, claims.

Experts recommend these bags not weigh more than about ten to fifteen percent of the student's body weight. If that's not feasible, you may want to purchase a rolling backpack or find a lighter way to pack.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to: consumerwatch@whas11.com

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