FIVE TIPS TO PREVENT BACKPACK PAIN
Boys Town, an 90 year-old national child and healthcare organization,and the American Academy Orthopedic Surgeons has announced strategies to prevent your children from developing injuries due to overloaded backpacks. It’s important for them to carry their school supplies properly to prevent muscle fatigue and strain.
“Parents should watch for warning signs that your child’s backpack is too heavy,” said Dr. John Sheehan, Boys Town Pediatric Orthopedist. “Warning signs include: a change in posture when wearing the backpack, pain while wearing the backpack, struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack, red marks on the shoulders, and tingling or numbness in arms or legs.”
Here are a few recommended tips to prevent harmful injuries:
- Use a backpack with wide padded straps and a padded back.
- Firmly tighten backpack straps so that the backpack is held two inches above the waist.
- Use a hip strap when backpacks are overloaded to minimize muscle strain.
- Encourage your child to make frequent stops at his/her locker to unload books between classes.
- Make sure your child knows how to properly lift a heavy backpack. Your child should bend at the knees, use his/her legs to lift the backpack, and place one shoulder strap on at a time to avoid injury.
The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.