Backpacks and back health are important for students. Back to school can be a dreaded time for lots of folks. No more sleeping in plus mounds of homework. It also starts the time when students are carrying heavy backpacks filled with books and other items. Most students overfill their school bags for many reasons, such as not being able to return to lockers during school sessions or it is just easier to carry their books with them all day.
National Backpack Awareness Day is held every September to educate students, teachers, parents and other school administrators about proper backpack usage for school-age children. According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2000 estimated that more than 13, 260 injuries related to backpacks were treated in various medical settings. While low back pain not related to injury is rare in pre-teen children, improperly used backpacks can be related to back strain.
Here are some tips to follow for backpack use to help prevent health problems:
• The total backpack weight should not exceed 15% of the child’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 90 pounds, his or her backpack weight should weigh no more than 13.5 pounds. If your child is slumped over carrying their backpack simply weigh it.
• Suggest that your child visit their locker frequently to lighten their backpack load. Use a back pack on wheels if your child’s locker is inaccessible between classes.
• Teach your child how to properly pack a backpack. Load the heaviest books closer to their back, making sure that supplies or books are secure in the backpack.
• Make sure your child is wearing the backpack properly, using both straps adjusted closely to their body.
• Make sure the backpack has good shoulder padding to prevent undue pressure on nerves and vessels in the neck and shoulders.