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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Backpack Safety

One of the rights of going back to school at our house is choosing the backpack. With the various styles, sizes, colors, fabrics, and shapes that backpacks come in choosing the right one is very important to each individual child. Many backpacks are very cool and feature multiple compartments that help your student to stay organized. The job of making sure the papers, books and more get back and forth from school and home. The backpack is considered better for the body when compared to shoulder bags, messenger bags, or purses. However, backpacks bring with them dangers of their own.

Extra weight on a childs back because of carrying papers, books, gym clothes, school supplies and other items in the backpack can lead to health problems. Headaches are the common most problem occurred by heavy backpacks. It is recommended that students carry no more than 10 to 15% of their body weight in their backpack.

Shoulder, neck and back can all be startled with pain from the backpack. I often see Princess carry around the backpack on one arm or shoulder. Doing this could make her lean to one side or the other depending on weight of her backpack and the development of lower and upper back pain from strain on shoulders and neck could be the result.

Backpacks with tight narrow straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with circulation and nerves. The straps can contribute to tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms and hands.

Kids that carry large bulky backpacks can unintentionally injure other students by accidently hitting them. Unaware of how much space these large backpacks take up is the problem. These larger backpacks can also cause falls to happen when students trip over them.

Backpacks are still the perfect tool to be used for school. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends that parents look for lightweight pack with two wide padded shoulder straps. It is also recommended that the backpack have a padded back which offers comfort and safety. Multiple compartments will help keep your child organized as well as help distribute the weight more evenly.

A lighter load will help you ensure that child is not putting his body under stress. Make sure that your child uses both shoulder straps.

Ways to lighten the load:
encourage your child to use their desk or locker. This will help them not to carry the entire day load of books.
Have your child to not tote their laptop, cell phone, or video game
encourage your child to bring home only the books that are needed to complete the assignment for that night

Parents can
advocate that students have more time between classes to use lockers
implement a school education program about safe backpack use
involve other parents and help inform them as well

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