ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists

(HealthDay News) -- The start of a new school year means it's time to remind students and parents about proper selection and use of backpacks.

"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," Eric Wall, director of the orthopedic surgery division at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a center news release.

However, improper use of backpacks can cause injuries that require medical treatment. For example, backpack-related injuries send almost 6,000 students to emergency departments each year, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report released in 2002.

Wall and his colleagues in the division of orthopedic surgery offer guidelines to prevent school backpack-related injuries:

* When shopping for a backpack, select one that's lightweight, has two wide and padded shoulder straps, a cushioned back, and waist straps. A pack with wheels may be a good option if your child has to lug a very heavy load.
* Children should always use both shoulder straps, and the straps should be cinched tight.
* Limit backpack loads to no more than 15 percent to 20 percent of a child's body weight.
* The heaviest items should be packed closest to the center of a child's back.
* Children shouldn't carry all of their books throughout the school day. They should keep their books in their locker and get them when they need them.
* When wearing or lifting a heavy backpack, children should bend using both knees.
* Don't leave backpacks on the floor where people can trip on them, and don't swing a pack around where it can hit other people.
* If your child uses a backpack and complains of persistent back pain, consult with a pediatrician.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about backpack safety.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, news release, Aug. 6, 2008

Last Updated: Aug. 17, 2008

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