It’s back to school time! Soon the summer heat will end and the leaves will begin to change. Back to school means purchasing new textbooks, supplies and the backpack to carry everything. But, have you ever considered backpack safety?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, backpack-related injuries send an estimated 5,000 children a year to emergency rooms. More than 14,000 children are treated annually for injuries. Overweight or incorrectly carried backpacks can be a leading cause of strain- and overuse-related injuries in children and teenagers, This includes neck, back and shoulder pain, in addition to severe sprains in the related joints and muscles.
Backpack injuries are entirely preventable if you remain vigilant and follow some simple guidelines for selecting the right backpack for your child:
- Your child’s backpack, when full, should weigh no more 15% of your child’s weight.
- To distribute the weight equally across your child’s strongest muscles, the straps of your child’s backpack should be wide and well-padded.
- Make sure your child knows that both straps must be worn at all times. This keeps the backpack securely against your child’s back.
- Check that the bottom of the backpack is no more than 4 inches below your child’s waistline.
Make sure your child is aware and participates is his or her back health. You can show them how to distribute the load properly by placing heavier items at the bottom of the backpack, which is against the child’s back, and encouraging them to keep their backpack free of unnecessary items. If your child’s school allows it, select a rolling backpack to help prevent potential back and spinal injuries.
It is important to observe your child and pay attention to see if you notice excessive strain or early signs of back pain when your child uses a backpack.
Bring your child into Xpress Ortho Care to talk to one of our experienced providers. We can answer all your questions and help you understand how to prevent backpack injuries.