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SUNDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- If made well and used properly, backpacks are ideal for carrying school books and supplies, but they can be uncomfortable and even lead to injury if they're too heavy or if children don't wear them properly, doctors warn.
"When used correctly, backpacks are the most efficient way to carry a load and distribute the weight among some of the body's strongest muscles," Dr. Eric Wall, at the orthopedic surgery division of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a center news release. "However, parents need to carefully select a backpack to ensure that they are comfortable and do not cause injury."
Doctors at the medical center recommend the following backpack guidelines for parents:
Backpacks often lead to shoulder or back pain. Children who complain about this discomfort should be evaluated by a doctor, the experts advised.
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more information on backpack safety.