Thursday, September 4, 2008

Occupational Therapists & National School Backpack Awareness Day

National School Backpack Awareness day is September 17th. This day was created to increase awareness among parents, teachers and children to properly use a backpack.

The AOTA offers a few tips for finding the right backpack:
  1. Never let a child carry more than 15% of his or her body weight. This means a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn't wear a backpack heavier than 15 pounds.
  2. Load heaviest items closest to the child's back and arrange books and materials to prevent them from sliding.
  3. Always wear both shoulder straps. Wearing only one strap can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
  4. Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Too much pressure on shoulders and necks can cause pain and tingling.
  5. Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly to the child's back. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back, never more than four inches below the child's waistline.
There are five more tips available at the link above. Progressus Therapy supports Occupational Therapists, teachers, parents and students in ensuring their school experience is as safe and effective as possible.

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