We know that along with the back-to-school craze August is known for comes paperwork and homework galore. But what could those countless forms and heavy books mean for your students when placed in a backpack? Could they be causing back pain in your student?
The Fourth of July was a month ago, and we know what that means: School is just around the corner.
We’ve always admired the work of the Salvation Army, for both what it accomplishes and how it does it with a bare minimum of “administrative costs.” That includes the annual “back-to-school” backpack local giveaways the organization does.
Donors of items and cash have helped provide items like Elmer’s glue, kids’ Fiskar scissors, pointed scissors, pink erasers, No. 2 pencils, 24-count Crayons, colored pencils, two-pocket folders, wide-ruled spiral notebooks, wide-ruled notebook paper and one-inch binders for local students.
Once those backpacks get to school, they’ll get loaded down with books and other heavy items, and that’s when the trouble begins. If the backpack weighs more than 10 to 20 percent of a child’s body weight, kids can suffer muscular back pain and lower back pain. You can tell a backpack is too heavy if you see the child either leaning far forward or far backward, according to experts.
Make sure the backpack is well padded along the back, and encourage the child to use both straps, or consider using a backpack with wheels, and whatever the choice, make sure it is the right size for the child. Also encourage students to visit their lockers frequently to exchange books rather than carrying a whole day’s worth around all the time.
The problem may take care of itself as schools use more electronics such as iPads and tablets in their day to day routines, but until then, be sure to monitor the weight of your child’s backpack. They’ll thank you down the road.