The summer night’s get shorter and the swimming pools start becoming less crowded so it can only mean one thing – the return to school is coming. Parents have a lot on their agenda when getting the kids ready to head back to school but something that often gets overlooked is back pack safety.
While the teachers and their homework overload are partially to blame, there are actually careless acts that kids take that leads to lower back and shoulder pain with children. Make sure to go over some of these ten tips for back pack safety with your children so that they don’t experience long-term pain.
1. Size of the Backpack – Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to backpacks and most chiropractors recommend a pack that is about 75% the size of your child’s back.
2. Bear the load – The heavier textbooks that need to be taken home should be placed in the backpack first so they’re closest to the child’s back. This will help with improving the center of gravity and reduce strain on the back.
3. Proper wear – The backpack should be worn with both shoulder pads and the weight evenly distributed between the two.
4. Choose a comfortable backpack- The backpack should have cushioned shoulder pads that are wide and comfortable. They should also be fully adjustable.
5. Limit the load – Make sure students are only taking home textbooks that they need for that night. Sweatshirts or spring coats can be carried home in the arms.
In addition to children having responsibility for back pack safety when going back to school, chiropractors have urged school authorities to take it upon themselves as well with the following procedures:
6. Limit homework – Homework is a necessity but time should be left in class to complete some of it, especially in the heavier books.
7. Offer online alternatives – Almost every household has access to the Internet so offer an online alternative for completing homework if feasible with the Internet Technology department in school.
8. Use paperback books – While paperback books aren’t as durable, they are easier for students to transport back and forth.
9. Allow students locker time – To make sure students don’t have to lug their whole course-load of books around all day, offer them adequate time to go to their lockers before and after class.
10. Teach a backpack safety course – Go over proper backpack wearing techniques with your class and urge the emphasis of back pack safety.