Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School Time: Backpack Safety Tips

Every so often myself and my co-workers are sent little messages from our Health and Safety Coordinator on various topic, they are often useful commonsense tip on subjects that many of us take for granted. Case in point, it's back to school time here in Middletown as well as all around the country, how many people have given a second thought to the backpacks that their kids will be lugging around with them for several hours each day? Not many, I'm sure:

With a new school year beginning soon, two orthopedic groups have released tips to help kids avoid backpack-related injuries.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America warn that wearing a backpack that is too heavy or improperly positioned could result in sprains, strains or posture problems. More than 9,500 such injuries occurred among children 5-18 years old in 2012, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

To avoid injuries, the groups advise students to:

  • Carry no more than 15-20 percent of their body weight.
  • Use both shoulder straps and adjust them to keep the load close to the back.
  • Remove items if the backpack is too heavy and pack the heaviest things low and in the center.
  • If possible, leave books at home or school instead of carrying them back and forth.

Parents also can help by purchasing the right-size backpack for their child, and asking if their child has
any numbness or tingling in the arms, which could indicate the backpack is too heavy or fits poorly.

Choosing the Right Backpack

When choosing a backpack, look for one that is appropriate for the size of your child. In addition, look for some of the following features:

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Two shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Waist strap
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Rolling backpack

The correct use of both of the wide, well-padded shoulder straps will help distribute the weight of the backpack.

1 comment:

Orthopedics in Westchester NY said...

Wearing backpacks the wrong way can lead to serious back issues. Thanks for posting.