Meadville Tribune

Our Health

August 9, 2012

Avoiding the back pain of back-to-school

When children head back to school, they almost always load their books and other school supplies in back packs.

A properly sized backpack with the right weight can be a very good way to carry school necessities. Unfortunately, many kids overload their backpacks and suffer back pain as a result.

Health experts say a child should not carry more than 15 percent of his body weight in a backpack. That means if the child weights 80 pounds, the backpack shouldn't weigh more than 12 pounds.

Backpack injuries

Most kids, however, load all their books into their backpacks and are carrying too much weight on their shoulders. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more than 13,700 kids, ages 5-18 years old, are treated in hospitals and doctors' offices for injuries related to backpacks.

"When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day," said Dr. Melanie Kinchen, an orthopaedic surgeon. "Backpack injuries are commonly caused by wearing overloaded backpacks, as well as lifting and carrying them incorrectly.”

Parents and teachers should guide kids to take preventative measures. Start by choosing a backpack that is appropriately sized for your child or have her use a rolling backpack as an alternative to carrying the heavy load on her shoulders."

Safety tips

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends the following safety tips to help eliminate pain and discomfort due to backpacks:

  • Always use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed.
  • Tighten the straps and use waist strap if the bag has one.
  • Remove or organize items if too heavy and place biggest items closest to the back.
  • Lift properly and bend at the knees to pick up a backpack.
  • Carry only those items that are required for the day; leave books at home or school, if possible.
  • Keep walkways clear of backpacks to avoid tripping over them.

Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks