It's that time of year once again when the kids are saying goodbye to summer and going back to school! While this is an exciting time for a lot of kids, new friends, new teachers and new school clothes, it also means filling up those backpacks with lots and lots of books and supplies.
"About 6,000 children are injured each year from wearing an inappropriate backpack," Linda Rhodes, senior occupational therapist at Children's Hospital of Georgia, said in a Georgia Regents University news release.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, a child's backpack should not exceed 10-15% of that child's weight. In addition to weight, the manner in which the bag is worn is equally important. Both straps should be worn on both shoulders, (no leaning to the side) and the length of the backpack should not hang below their waist.
If your child has to bend forward at the hips or lean back in order to walk with their bag, adjustments must be made! Wide padded straps are also recommended to prevent nerve compression around the shoulder region.
This is vitally important to protect your child's back and prevent these types of injuries. Kids are already sitting in class most of the day and probably aren't practicing proper posture.
In addition to overuse injuries such as sprains/strains due to use of an overly heavy pack, other dangers could arise, such as potential trips and falls due to clumsy walking with the overweight bag.
Do yourself and your young ones a favor and weigh your child and their backpack and talk to them about the importance of what has been expressed in the above post. They only get one back for their lifetime, and although they are young, that doesn't mean they can't get injured! Help them stay active, safe and injury free!
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