Although the cause of costochondritis is often unknown, there's some evidence that children who carry a heavy school bag, especially over one shoulder, are at increased risk of this condition. Upper respiratory infections, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise also may be linked to costochondritis.

Common-sense preventive steps that may reduce the risk of costochondritis and protect you and your family's overall health include:

  • Encourage your child to use school bags properly. Make sure your child's bag is not so heavy that your child's shoulders slump, and show your child how to carry the bag appropriately.
  • Avoid activities that seem to trigger costochondritis-like pain. If chest pain and tenderness seem to result from physical exertion, ask your doctor to provide safe guidelines for your exercise program and for lifting.
  • Take steps to prevent respiratory infection. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, avoid sharing drinking glasses or utensils with others and limit your exposure to people who are ill.
May. 05, 2012