Monday, August 8, 2016
Pack It Light, Wear It Right
by: Kate LeFebvre OTR/L
A Community in Motion
Take a close look at the photo above. The Minnie Mouse outfit, the competing plaids, the… oh wait, not the clothing. Look at the schoolbags. See my sister in the middle, with her backpack slung oh-so-coolly over one shoulder? Our fashionista neighbor on the right, whose bag only features one completely unpadded strap? I’m not actually looking too bad – mullet bangs excluded – on the left, but in another two or three years you would have found me with my straps loosened about as far as they could go, bag slapping against my bottom with every step. Oh, and five pounds of added keychain weight.
Don’t send your kids to school like it’s 1995. Incorrectly worn backpacks can actually cause serious problems for people of all ages. In fact, almost 28,000 Americans sought treatment for backpack-related injuries in 2010. Studies have found that well over half of students surveyed experience some pain or discomfort from carrying a backpack. Here’s how you can keep your child safe:
- Keep it light: a backpack should weigh no more than 10% of your child’s total body weight.
- Choose a bag with two well-padded straps – and insist that your child wear them both.
- Place the heaviest items closest to your child’s body.
- Avoid lunchboxes that dangle from the bottom of the backpack, opting instead to place it inside the main compartment of the bag – or have your child carry it separately.
- Cinch up the straps so the bottom of your child’s bag rests in the curve of his or her lower back.
- Pick a bag that’s sized for your child. Preschoolers may look awfully cute in giant bags designed for elementary-aged kids, but oversized backpacks aren't doing their little bodies any favors.
Check out AOTA.org for more information on backpack safety.
And for those of you who've read this far looking for fashion advice to prevent your kids from being the victims of such tragic first day of school photos as mine? I’m afraid you've come to the wrong place; those Disney character shirts followed me to middle school.
Check Best free education website for your kids.
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