Aches and pains for Potter fans

  October 29, 2003 at 8:19 PM ET
  James (via New York Daily News)

In an amusing anecdoteopens in new window for the many fans who have made light of the enormous volume of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dr. Howard J. Bennett, a Washington pediatrician, has recently reported his finding of young children afflicted with recurring headaches - apparently caused by tilted necks and poor lighting while engaged in marathon reading of the latest tome.

The connection was all too easy to arrive at - questioning his patients on their late reading made the switch flick instantly.

"The kids I saw were all avid Harry Potter fans who just plowed through the book," said Dr. Howard J. Bennett, whose office is in Washington. "A lot of my kids would be reading six, eight hours a day. And it’s a big book for a 9- or 10-year-old child."

He dubbed their ailment "Hogwarts headache" after the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that the boy wizard attends. He said the youngsters’ headaches were probably caused by tensing their head muscles for long periods. One of the children also had neck and wrist pain.

Bennett said he encourages children to keep reading the hefty book, which he enjoyed.

"But it might be nice to take a break periodically," he said, adding that two of the headache sufferers decided to keep reading and pop Tylenol instead.


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