HealthWise At 5 from 9.5 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/5/03

HealthWise At 5 from 9.5

  • Smoking Toll

There is disturbing information about the impact of cigarette smoking on America's health. New figures show more than 8.5 million people are living with at least one serious illness linked to the habit. Every year, nearly half a million people die of a smoking-related health problem, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control. Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are the most common chronic conditions affecting current and former smokers. Heart attack and stroke are also major health concerns. The report is the first to analyze the impact of all the chronic illnesses linked to smoking.

  • Heavy Backpacks

Those heavy backpacks kids are hauling around in grade school may haunt them through high school and beyond. Joanne Foss, Occupational Therapist at the University of Florida, says that people don't think little children or middle school kids could have back pain but they do seem to be seeing a trend of back pain and children complaining about there hands going numb and their hands tingling.

Foss says the backpacks on the market today can handle far more weight than young children can safely carry. A good rule of thumb, she says, is that youngsters carry no more than 15 % of their body weight. In other words, if a child weighs 100 lbs., his back pack shouldn't weigh more than 15. Also, with all the pockets and places to stash stuff in backpacks today, they're often packed unevenly. The University of Florida experts warn that unsteady backpacks can cause numbness in the hands or constriction of the shoulder muscles, nerves and veins. The best solution, they say, is for parents to encourage kids to clean out and lighten up their back packs often.

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