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Do you practice backpack safety? Be informed with these tips!
By Lynae Szemplinski
HEALTH MATTERS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016
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Do you practice backpack safety? Be informed with these tips!

As summer ends and the start of a new school year approaches, many children will need new school supplies. This can often include purchasing a new backpack.

Backpacks are practical for carrying books and supplies but can be easily overloaded and used incorrectly. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), “Backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.”

To keep your children safe and help prevent injuries, here are a few tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Look for backpacks with some of the below features:

  • Two wide, padded shoulder straps;
  • Padded back;
  • Lightweight;
  • Strap at the waist.

Another option to consider is a backpack with wheels, but remember to be sure it is not too heavy because your child may need to carry it up steps.

To keep your kids safe and help prevent injuries, here are a few tips from the AAOS:

  • TDistribute the weight of the backpack by using both shoulder straps;
  • Ensure the straps are not too loose;
  • Place the heaviest items low and toward the middle of the backpack;
  • Pack light and utilize all sections;
  • Leave excess items at home or at school.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the “backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.”

Learn more.

Learn more about backpack safety at orthoinfo.aaos.org and aap.org.

 

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