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SchoolFamily Voices

Join our bloggers as they share their experiences on the challenges and joys of helping children succeed in school.

Back-to-School Back Pain

When my 14-year-old started talking about the style of backpack she wants for school this year, I felt that buying it for her would be aiding and abetting the destruction of her posture. The backpack was perfectly fine it's the combined weight of the books it will be holding that has me seriously considering homeschooling my children just so they'll never have to leave the house with 75 pounds of textbooks on their backs.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says backpacks shouldn't exceed 10 percent of the student's weight. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that last year, my daughter's backpack weighed more than she did by 10 percent. I'd be thrilled if she'd agree to a backpack on wheels, but those haven't been acceptable since she was a 4th grader and all the girls towed their books down the hallways like tiny flight attendants. People have always been willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion, but overloaded backpacks on growing bodies aren't just uncomfortable, they're a health risk. There has to be a way for kids to study at home without paying for it with lifelong back pain.
The Campaign for Healthy School Lunches
Spiraling Out of Control

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Comments   

#1 BJ 2008-06-02 15:53
This is an important issue.

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