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Focus on Healthy Backs for Back-to-School

School backpacks seem to be getting heavier every year and parents need to take measures to protect their children’s spinal health, by ensuring that their kids are using their backpacks correctly.

Dr. Hargovind Dewal, an orthopedic surgeon with Long Island Spine Specialists and the Peconic Bay Medical Center in New York offers some practical tips on appropriate ways to wear backpacks:

  • Limit backpack weight to 10 to 15 percent of the child’s body weight. For example, the backpack of a 100-pound child should weigh no more than 10 to 15 pounds
  • Using both shoulder straps will evenly distribute the weight of the backpack, keep the weight close to the body, and help the spine stay aligned.
  • Research shows that for every inch the head tilts forward, pressure on the spine doubles, That means children need to take breaks from electronic devices and avoid being hunched over for hours a day.

Read more for additional tips on ensuring that your child wears their backpack correctly. And remember, “back pain in children is unusual. A child who complains of back pain should be evaluated by a doctor, Dewal said”

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