Back-to-school health tips for parents and kids

  • The backpack burden

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    Backpacks full of books and school supplies can put strain on your child's neck, shoulders and back. Seigel, who is father to 9-year-old twin girls, said that when he tried to lift one of his daughter's backpacks he thought he was going to get a hernia because it was so heavy. In addition to getting a backpack strong enough to carry a heavy load, he suggests talking with teachers to see if there are ways to lighten the burden.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids always use both shoulder straps when wearing a backpack. "Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles," the group states on its website. Also, check with your school to see if they allow rolling backpacks, which may be a good option for students who have a lot to carry.