Does it seem that school backpacks are heavy with homework, binders, and laptops? Carrying too much weight in a pack or wearing it the wrong way can lead to pain or strain. Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems.
Ware Elementary participated in the AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day on September 20, 2017. Irwin Army Occupational Therapy visited Ware and gave safety tips on how to avoid the pain and injury that can come from heavy backpacks and bags. Ware student’s learned how to properly choose, pack, lift and carry various types of bags. – Norma Cornejo
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, 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 ten pounds. They also recommend loading the heaviest items closest to the child’s back, the back of the backpack. The weight of the backpack can be distributed 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 discomfort. Well-padded shoulder straps that fit snuggly are also recommended. 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.