United Hospital Center Hosts Exhibit for National Backpack Awareness Day

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With homework in full swing, your child may be bringing home a heavy backpack. United Hospital Center explains the effects of wearing too heavy of a backpack.

“The effects of wearing a backpack inappropriately can be chronic back pain and depending on how long the backpack is worn it can actually lead to mild scoliosis, curvature of the spine,” said Brandon Luwko, UHC Family Medicine.

For National Backpack Awareness Day, UHC Family Medicine doctors educated parents and students about the effects of wearing a backpack inappropriately.

Luwko explained, “The main way that most children are wearing the backpacks inappropriately is either too heavy, they are loading it inappropriately or they are wearing it wrong such as wearing it on one shoulder.”

UHC set up an exhibit in the Meadowbrook Mall to weigh backpacks and provide helpful information.

Doctors gave a few tips for parents and students to remember.

“The appropriate way is you want the top of the backpack about two inches below the shoulder blades and you want the bottom of  the backpack not to go below the waist. It can be slightly above the waist but not below it. And you need to make sure that the weight should ideally be less than 10 percent of the body weight of the child so a perfect example is if a kid weighs 50 pounds, the backpack shouldn’t be weighing more than about five or six pounds total,” added Luwko.

Doctors said to check your child’s backpack and make sure they are putting the heaviest items near the back of the backpack and make sure they are only bringing home books that they need.

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