Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to School Series: BACKPACK AWARENESS

Summer is coming to a close and the kids are going back to school. This means a lot of things: a new routine, homework, and back packs. As a first part of our ‘Back to School Series’ we would like to help you strap up your kiddos back packs each day in the safest way possible. What we don’t like about going back to school? Heavy back packs. Here are some simple tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association to keep your kids safe and wearing back packs correctly.

  • A child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10% of his or her weight. For example, a child who weighs 100 pounds should not carry a back pack heavier than 10 pounds.
  • Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
  • Encourage your children to only bring home what is necessary for that day’s homework.
  • If your child’s back pack is consistently too heavy, consider a back pack with wheels if your child’s school allows.
  • Arrange items in the back pack so they do not slide around.
  • Do NOT wear on the arms
    Do NOT let the back pack sag low

    DO have your child wear his/her back pack like this!
    DO Secure straps high enough so it does no hang low.

How to wear a back pack correctly…

  • Wear both straps evenly on both shoulders.
  • Ensure that both straps are well padded.
  • Secure the straps to make sure the back pack does not hang on the lower back. This can cause increased strain on the back. The back pack should rest on the curve of the lower back, no more than 4 inches below your child’s waistline.
  • Choose a back pack that is not too big for your child.

(American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014)

Refer to the American Occupational Therapy Association website for further information!
Stay tuned for more on our ‘Back to School Series’! Next: ‘Back to School: Reestablishing Routine’

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