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Use of Backpacks in Children and Adolescents: A Potential Contributor of Back Pain

Rateau, Margaret R.


Concerns associated with backpack use among today’s schoolchildren and adolescents have recently been raised. The presence of back discomfort, negative postural changes, and potential injury associated with the transport of heavy backpacks is now prevalent in increasing proportions. These problems may be a significant factor in the development of mobility problems during a child’s adult years. The purpose of this article is to describe the potential dangers associated with backpack use and to discuss useful strategies that may be helpful in the prevention of injury and the promotion of wellness for today’s youth.

Margaret R. Rateau, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing, Kent State University, East Liverpool Regional Campus, East Liverpool, OH.

© 2004 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses