DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter, at the age of 14, is seeing a chiropractor because of back problems caused by the backpack she carries to school five days a week.
Her teachers require her to have a three-ring binder for each class, no exceptions. Abby, this school has no lockers, and each child is expected to carry the pack home each night and return it to school the next day.
Twenty pounds and up is too much for an adult to carry, let alone a growing child. A newspaper article said children in France are fighting the same problem and that it has become a national disgrace. What are teachers thinking of?
As yet, I haven't seen a backpack with wheels, so I may have to get my granddaughter a luggage cart to save her back. Any comments? -- AN OUTRAGED GRANDPARENT IN BOULDER, COLO.
DEAR OUTRAGED GRANDPARENT: Backpacks distribute weight more evenly than the old book bags we carried in school, but I agree that 20 pounds is a heavy weight.
Many college students, who have even larger books, often strap their books and documents onto portable luggage carriers for easy transport. At age 14, your granddaughter may not want to be different from her friends who still use backpacks, but wheels would ease the strain on her back.