Prevent backpack pain, plus tips for empty nesters

August 26, 2013 7:27:05 AM PDT
Kids are heading back to school for the new year. Before they head out the door, check their backpack.

Lugging around a hefty backpack can spell back pain later.

Dr. David Marshall, the medical director of sports medicine at Children's healthcare in Atlanta, says the weight of the backpack should never be lower than the waist line.

It should be high up on your child's shoulders.

Choose a backpack that has two shoulder straps, that are wide and padded.

An abdominal strap will help redistribute the load evenly.

And, bags shouldn't weigh more than 10 to 15 percent of your child's body.

Remember, you can always use a rolling backpack if needed.

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EMPTY NESTERS

As kids head off to college this month, more parents are becoming empty nesters.

But, parents - not to worry. Psychologists say it's normal to feel sad right now.

As students moved in yesterday at the University of Delaware, Doris Shea of Princeton, New Jersey, admitted to bittersweet feelings at seeing her daughter start college.

"I can't even imagine what it's going to be like, you know, at the dinner table, we won't have her there to tell us about her day. And we're going to have to think of something to keep us going in her absence," she told Action News.

This can be an especially tough time for single parents, stay-at-home parents, or families of only children.

But one expert says there is a bright side.

"It's not a bad thing. What it means is you've done your job right. Your child has done well in school. They're going off to college, that's the way it's supposed to be," says Mike McKee, Ph.D., a family psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. McKee recommends turning those nurturing skills to volunteer work, or taking up a hobby or interest you've always dreamed of.

He also recommend parents start caring more for themselves. Exercise is a great option, now, since it helps lift your mood.


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