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2 August 2010

A load too heavy

Various stake-holders and health experts give their take on the age-old problem of heavy school bags.

THE sun was barely up, and neither was little Andy, who was seen nodding off to sleep as his mother pulled up alongside the school gate.

Still groggy, Andy was reluctant to leave the comfort of his car, but a few words from his mother, who had to open his door, achieved the effect no alarm clock could.

“Wake up, mommy has to rush for an important meeting,” she said, as her seven-year-old son sluggishly got out. “Carry your own bag today. I’m in a hurry.”

Andy was suddenly wide awake, and his muted protests concerning the heavy load were to no avail as his mother helped him put on his backpack before speeding off.

Muttering, Andy trudged away, slouching and struggling with his heavy backpack. Andy’s morning may have been spoilt, but in truth, he was one of the lucky ones as most children carry their own bags on a daily basis.
The issue of heavy school bags is a perennial problem, and many parents are less than impressed. A number have expressed their discontent by writing to StarEducation, and those quizzed outside the school gates were equally vocal.

Scoliosis Patients May Have Worse Perceived Health Status

WEDNESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- People with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) may have perceived mental and physical health that is moderately, albeit significantly, worse than those without the condition, according to twin-based research published in the August issue of Spine.

Mikkel Ø. Andersen, M.D., of Sygehus Lillebaelt in Denmark, and colleagues studied questionnaires completed by 34,944 twins representing 23,204 pairs born between 1931 and 1982 to examine the effect that AIS had on health-related quality of life in this population.