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Backpack Safety Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

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Backpack Safety Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

At the top of almost every back-to-school supply list is the backpack. It is a convenient and practical way to carry books, pens, pencils, and other required school supplies while keeping hands free. With all the colors and designs available, some even consider the backpack to be a fun fashion accessory.

As helpful and fun as they are, backpacks can also cause pain and injury if not used properly. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) estimates that about 55 percent of students are carrying backpacks heavier than the recommended guideline, leading to increased backpack-related incidents in recent years.

An Italian study found that the average child carries a backpack that is the equivalent of a 39-pound pack for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Sixty percent of those children reported back pain.

Health Issues Caused by Backpacks

  • Backpacks that are worn improperly or are too heavy for children and teens can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain, as well as problems with muscles and joints.
  • Too much weight can force a child to lean backward and attempt to compensate by bending forward at the hips. Backpacks slung over one shoulder can cause leaning to one side. Correct posture becomes difficult.
  • Backpacks with narrow straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with circulation and nerves, potentially contributing tingling, numbness, and weakness of the arms and hands. Red marks on the skin are a clue that the child is carrying too much weight.
  • Carrying overloaded backpacks changes the way children walk, causing tripping and increasing the risk of falls.

Next: How to Choose It, Pack It, Wear It

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Read more: Children, Family, General Health, Health, Healthy Schools, News & Issues, , , , ,

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11:23PM PST on Dec 26, 2014

Now this is in actual fact cooperative. It’s very openhanded of you to share this with us. kameez ukSalwar

2:56AM PDT on Mar 21, 2014

The SPAM got reported (finally) but I'm still grumpy

10:17PM PST on Dec 23, 2013

This written piece gives fastidious understanding yet.

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12:02AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

thanks for sharing

12:35PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010


12:35PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010


3:45AM PDT on Aug 20, 2010

TY. Too many books, too many things to forget to pack!

2:22AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

great article..

12:22AM PDT on Aug 19, 2010

kids only need a backpack for lunch!I wasted a good proportion of my carrying books

6:45PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Even though my posture is pretty good, I sure wish I knew more about this when I went to school!

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