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Welcome Back to School- Back Pack Safety!

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Welcome Back to School- Back Pack Safety!

Did you know? 

  • Each year, there are roughly, 5,000 ER visits related to back injuries in teens and children.
  • More than 13,000 total visits occur in doctor's offices, clinics, and ER's that deal with children's and teens' back injuries from back packs. 
  • Students lift their backpacks from the floor to the ground approximately 10 times per day, for roughly 1,800 total times in a school year.
  • If a backpack weighs 12 pounds, these students have lifted and carried a total of 12,600 pounds. This is the weight of 6 mid-sized cars. 

In order to prevent your son and/or daughter hurting their back this school year, take a look at these helpful tips for backpack safety. 

  • Wear both straps- Use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack. By wearing two shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed. 
  • Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles- Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back. Should straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and allow free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should bot extend below the low back. 
  • Lighten the load- Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the child's bodyweight. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Organize the co intents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back. 

How can a Physical Therapist help?

A physical therapist can help you choose a proper backpack and fit it specifically to your child. Children come in all shapes and sizes, and some have physical limitations that require special adaptations. 

Additionally, a physical therapist can help improve posture problems, correct muscle imbalances, and treat pain that can result from improper backpack use. Physical therapists can also design individualized fitness progress to help children get strong and stay strong- and carry their own loads! Call your local CPRS clinic today! 



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