1. Rateau, Margaret R. MSN, RN

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Please accept this response to the recent letter sent to the editor from Maria Thompson. It was of great interest to hear the results found through her 5th-grade science project researching backpack weight and student complaints of back, shoulder, and neck pain. Reading Maria's findings about typical backpack weights and the significant number of students experiencing discomfort further supports the great need for awareness and education on this important topic.


It is my strong belief that provision of accurate and thorough information to school personnel, parents, and students is the initial step in reversing these negative trends toward backpack usage. Maria's work is a vital component in creating awareness not only to her peers but also to school staff, teachers, and even parents. Congratulations to Maria for a job well done!! Maria's contribution and willingness to share her experience demonstrate that one person can make a big difference. Through the dissemination of valuable information and the promotion of a healthy and safer method of backpack transport, prevention of mobility-related conditions could be prevented later into adulthood.


Margaret R. Rateau, MSN, RN


Assistant Professor of Nursing, Kent State University-East, Liverpool Regional Campus, East Liverpool, OH