Yes, I know it’s not “cool” to wear two straps on your backpack! I also know that if you carry a lot of heavy book with only one strap it will cause back pain! I was at the softball field two nights ago and a friend of mine was telling me how her middle school daughter’s back hurt because of the amount of books in her backpack. Did you know that a recent study suggested that 6 out of 10 students ages 9-20 years old complained of chronic back pain related to backpacks? Knowing this, I had to give my two cents! How appropriate, given today is National School Backpack Awareness Day!
Follow their slogan, “Pack it Light and Wear it Right!”
Protect your child’s back by enforcing these guidelines:
· Get out your tape measure and choose the appropriate size for your child’s back- many companies have various sizes to choose from.
· Wear two well padded straps and use a waist belt if you have one
· Wear the backpack close to your back
· Make sure the backpack is above your bottom
· Never carry more than 15% of your body weight (a good rule of thumb is < 15 pounds). Fifteen pounds is heavy, that is nearly 2 gallons of milk!!!
· Carry the largest, heaviest books closest to your back
· If your school permits, use a book bag on wheels
Michelle Yoder, OTR/L