Find A Physician

Return to Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers Overview

More on Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers

Hospital News

Return to Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers Overview

More on Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers

Research and Clinical Trials

Return to Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers Overview

More on Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers

Clinical Services

Return to Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers Overview

More on Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers

Backpacks Can Mean Backaches for Back-to-Schoolers

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Orthopedic Surgeon Offers Tips on Avoiding Injury From an Overstuffed Backpack

NEW YORK (Aug 19, 2009)

Millions of children returning to school this fall will struggle under the weight of an overstuffed backpack, putting themselves at risk of injury, according to Dr. Michael Vitale, chief of pediatric spine and scoliosis surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

"Parents should inspect their child's backpack from time to time. They often carry much more than they should with extra shoes, toys and other unnecessary items," says Dr. Vitale, who is also an Ana Lucia Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"A backpack shouldn't weigh more than 15 percent of the child's weight, or about seven pounds for a child who weighs 50 pounds. If it is textbooks that are making the bag too heavy, parents should speak with the teacher — sometimes these books can be left at school," adds Dr. Vitale.

To prevent injury, children should also wear a backpack correctly over both shoulders to spread the weight evenly. Alternately, they should consider a wheeled backpack.

If the child experiences persistent pain, parents should consult with their pediatrician, who may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles. Some indicators of trouble include when the child's posture changes while wearing the backpack, when they struggle to put it on, or any pain, tingling or red marks.

For more information, patients may call (866) NYP-NEWS.

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, located in New York City, offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and one of the largest providers of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. It is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report.

Contact

Gloria Chin
Phone: (212) 305-5587.
glc9010@nyp.org
  • Bookmark
  • Print

    Find a Doctor

Click the button above or call
1 877 NYP WELL


eNewsletters
Top of page