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Backpack Safety

Physical Therapists Offer Backpack S

Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students Aching backs and shoulders? Tingling arms? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain and strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it. WRONG f body weight !

Wearing the backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied. • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. A pack that hangs loosely from the back can pull the child backwards and strain muscles. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. • School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day. CORRECT

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Physical Therapists Offer Backpack Safety Tips

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Wear both straps Use of one strap causes one side of t wearing 2 shoulder straps, the weight Wear the backpack over the str Pay close attention to the way the ba evenly in the middle of the back. Sho put on and take off the backpack with Straps should not be too loose, and t Lighten the load Keep the load at 10%-15% or less of are required for the day. Organize th items closest to the back. Some stud carry the heavy books to and from sc How a Physical Therapist Can H A physical therapist can help you cho child. Children come in all shapes an require special adaptations. Addition problems, correct muscle imbalances backpack use. Physical therapists ca help children get strong and stay stro CORRECT Load no more than 10%-15% of body weight

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Nut Free - Sandwich Free Box Lunch Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscle Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. It s ould rest evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should b adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the low back. Lighten the load Keep the load at 10%-15% or less of the child’s body weight. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back. Some students have 2 sets of books, so as not to have to carry the heavy books to and from school. How a Physical Therapist Can Help A physical therapist can help you cho se a proper backpack nd fit it specifically to your child. Children come in all shape nd sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations. Additionally, physical therapist can help improve o ture problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result from improper backpack use. Physical therapists can also design individualized fitness programs to help children get strong and stay strong—and carry their own loads! Hummus and Pita Plate Nine out of 10 kids love a good smear of hummus. Why not make it the star of the show? Pack with: Salami, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes, and grapes. (Note that dipping is easier and less messy if you pack the hummus in a separate container.) The lunchtime sandwich may be as American as the flag itself, but let’s face it: Slapping the same smears onto bread — day after day, week after week — can leave kids and parents a little bored. Wear both straps Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the b ckpack. By wearing 2 shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed.

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