Ease the Pain of Heavy Backpacks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/22/03

Ease the Pain of Heavy Backpacks

Kids stuff their backpacks and sling them over their shoulders at the end of the school day. "I've seen quite a few children with backpack injuries once school starts." Dr. Jack Hudgins says the safety lesson begins with the backpack itself. "You probably want one that is big enough that you can put several different size objects in it so they're not sliding around and also the wide strips are big." The backpack should also offer enough padding on the straps and back so objects inside the backpack aren't abrasive.

Now, for the proper way to load your backpack. Dr. Hudgins says, "Don't carry a too heavy of a backpack because it's definitely going to effect your body overtime." Wearing the backpack incorrectly over a period of time, may cause back, shoulder and neck pain. "If the backpack is going to have too much weight in it, you're going to notice your child will lean forward trying to distribute the weight." You can alleviate some of the load with a rolling backpack. But these too, can cause problems. "Whenever your children pull their backpacks, you want to make sure they're not causing a hazard to other kids by running into it. The loading weight can be increased a little bit in the rolling backpacks."

When a child wears the backpack, both straps should lay across the shoulders. Dr. Hudgins says, "Ronnie is showing the improper use of a backpack, only wearing one strap. It probably has too much weight and it is definitely hanging too far below the waist, passing the four inch rule."

When wearing a backpack, kids should keep the following rules in mind:

  • Don't overload your backpack.
  • The backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the child's bodyweight.
  • It shouldn't hang more than four inches below the waistline.
  • Both shoulder straps should be worn to distribute the weight evenly.

The American Chiropractic Association endorses the Samsonite Chiropack school bag. For more information on this backpack, call the ACA at 1-800-986-4636 or click here. For NewsChannel 11's Safety Solutions, I'm Sharon Maines.

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