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Traditional Mom

Back to School: Backpack Safety

Raising Backpack Safety Awareness.
Back to school time is here. With it comes back to school supplies and shopping. Among the supplies for many students is a backpack. Backpacks are useful tools for carrying books and materials to and from school. Choosing a properly fitting backpack and filling it properly will save a lot of back aches.

Nearly every student in the United States carries a back pack to school on a regular basis. That comes to more than 79 million students, according to the 2007 American Community Survey. About 55 percent of that 79 million carry a bag that is too heavy. In one study, eight out of ten middle school aged children found relief by wearing and packing their backpacks correctly.

Properly loading a backpack is an essential part of decreasing back injuries. The fully loaded weight of a pack must not weigh more than ten percent of the wearers weight. Therefore, a student that weighs 100 pounds soaking wet should carry a backpack weighing ten pounds of less. In an effort to lighten the load, be sure to check the bag regularly for unnecessary items. Only carry the necessities. When putting books into the bag, it is important to place the heaviest items close to the students back. Having the bulk of the weight closer to their back will avoid extra strain. Sometimes, there is not enough room to fit all the books and supplies in the backpack. In these instances it's best to just carry what does not fit in hand instead of cramming it in the bag.

Backpacks come with two straps for a reason. Using only one strap will cause the student to lean. This leaning curves the spine causing discomfort and pain. Use both straps to put an even load on each shoulder. Look for a bag that has padded straps. Straps with added padding allow for better blood circulation and prevent numbness and tingling in the arms. If the backpack comes with a waist belt, use it. A waist belt distributes the weight more evenly across the back. Be sure to check the length of the pack. The bottom of the bag should sit in the curve of the lumbar spine. Another way of making sure that the fit is right is to measure the distance between bottom of the bag to the student's waist line. The distance between them should not exceed four inches.

Backpacks are a common item on a student's back to school list. They come in a myriad of styles and sizes, but finding the right fit to protect the student's spine is important. In order to avoid backpack related injuries it is best to pick a bag that fits snug to the back and ends at the lumbar spine.

Traditional Mom

About Shannon Walter -

Wife, Mommy, and Writer are three of the hats Shannon wears on a daily basis. Natural and holistic wellness is her passion. Diving into medical studies, reading long-winded books, and refitting them into information that is valuable to everyday life.

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