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Entries in Student Health (1)

Sunday
Aug142011

Back to School: Backpack Safety Tips

Comstock/Thinkstock(ROSEMONT, Ill.) -- Heavy backpacks are not only difficult to carry, but are harmful to a user’s back, according to orthopaedic surgeons at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Backpack wearers should think twice before overloading their bags as nearly 28,000 people were treated in hospitals, doctors' offices, and emergency rooms in 2010 for backpack-related injuries like strains, sprains, dislocations and fractures, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The AAOS advises back-pack users to be mindful of these tips to help eliminate pain and discomfort from heavy bags:

• Always use both shoulder straps to keep the pack’s weight better distributed.
• Tighten the straps and use waist strap if provided.
• Remove or organize items if too heavy, placing the biggest items closest to the back.
• Lift properly and bend at the knees to pick up the backpack.
• Carry only necessary items.

Parents are also encouraged to educate their children on backpack-related pain:

• Encourage your child or teenager to be aware of backpack-related pain or discomfort like numbness or tingling in the arms or legs.
• Buy an appropriately sized backpack for the size of your child and watch for posture changes when they wear the backpack.
• Watch your child put on or take off the backpack to see if it is a struggle for them
• Talk to the school about lightening the load, keeping it10-15 percent or less of the child's bodyweight.
• Be sure the school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day to alleviate heaviness.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio