Tips to avoid backpack-related injuries - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Back To School

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Tips to avoid backpack-related injuries

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014 7:45 am

The signs in front of local schools do not carry a message that most kids want to hear — “School Begins in Early August.” In spite of protests, our kids are now making the usual preparations: buying school supplies, school clothes and often a new backpack. Whether old or new, some guidelines for using backpacks will come in handy for both youth and their parents.

Several different medical and consumer organizations have developed guidelines for using backpacks to prevent injury and medical problems. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) indicates that nearly 14,000 youth are treated (annually) in hospitals or doctors’ offices for backpack-related injuries. Far more injuries go unreported. In addition to immediate injuries such as muscle strains and back, neck, and shoulder pain, incorrect use of backpacks can lead to poor posture (but not scoliosis) and muscle imbalance over time.

As your kids prepare for school you (and your kids) may want to consider several guidelines derived from the AAOS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the National Safety Council (NSC).

• Limit backpack weight to 10-20 percent of body weight (NSC and AAP). The AAOS recommends 10-15 percent.

• Choose a backpack with TWO wide padded shoulder straps. Always use both shoulder straps to properly balance the weight of the pack.

• Tighten the backpack using the appropriate straps. This keeps the backpack closer to the back and avoids movement of the pack. Teach your child how to use these straps properly.

• Consider a waist strap to avoid excessive movement of a backpack, especially if the pack will be carried a considerable distance.

• Organize the back to prevent movement of objects. Keep heavy objects at the center, not the sides and low in the backpack.

• Carry only necessary objects to lighten the pack.

• At school unload heavy objects into a desk or locker. Pick up objects as needed to limit backpack weight.

• Use the leg muscles when standing up with a backpack. Avoid bending forward at the waist while carrying the pack; this creates considerable stress on the back muscles.

• Place backpacks in a safe location when not wearing them to avoid tripping.

• Do exercises to build the muscles of the back and shoulders to allow efficient carrying.

Parents may want to consider these suggestions from the AAOS.

• Talk to your kids about pain or discomfort associated with carrying a backpack (including tingling and numbness).

• Watch your child put on and take off the backpack to see that it is done properly. Watch your child walk with the pack.

• Talk to the school if the weight of books and other required objects exceeds the limits of what your child should be carrying.

• Be sure that schools offer desks or lockers where books and heavy objects can be stored to lighten the load during the day. Also check to see if enough time is allocated to visit lockers.

• Consider having a second set of books at home if your child has back or shoulder problems.

More information is available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00043 and http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Backpack-Safety.aspx.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dr. Chuck Corbin is professor emeritus at Arizona State University and author of many books and articles on fitness and wellness.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Roasted Cauliflower at Ocotillo, Weekday Brunch at Virtu, and More This Week in Metro Phoenix

Teresa Traverse A A Macayo's 70th Anniversary Today Macayo’s is celebrating 70 years in business by offering two of the founder Woody Johnson'…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 10:01 am @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/roasted…

New lawsuit targets Colorado’s LGBT nondiscrimination protections

A day after a judge in Arizona ruled against the Alliance Defending Freedom’s suit challenging Phoenix’s LGBT nondiscrimination protections, t…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:59 am @ https://thinkprogress.org/adf-colorado-website-des…

Dairy industry murdered 500,000 dairy cows just to keep milk prices high

DEATH under Clinton, LIFE under Trump: Which future do you choose for America? (NaturalNews) Four big names in the dairy industry reportedly c…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:58 am @ http://www.naturalnews.com/055433_dairy_farmers_ki…

Stories From the Black Panthers' Unfinished Revolution

In “The Black Panthers: Portraits From an Unfinished Revolution,” the photographer Bryan Shih and the historian Yohuru R. Williams tell the ra…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:31 am @ http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/09/26/stories-f…

It's Hillary Clinton's election to lose

Comedian Bill Maher captured the anxiety of Democrats about the presidential election when he returned to his weekly HBO show in mid-September…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:30 am @ http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/07/hillary-clinton…

Today: Macayo’s celebrates 70th anniversary with 70-cent menu items

Macayo’s celebrates its 70th anniversary today, and the Mexican restaurants are offering a pair of 70-cent specials: Classic Shredded Beef Tac…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:31 am @ http://mouthbysouthwest.com/2016/09/26/today-macay…

Adriene Jenik to Step Down as ASU School of Art Director

Lynn Trimble A A Adriene Jenik is stepping down from her position as director for the School of Art at Arizona State University’s Herberger In…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:32 am @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/adriene-jenik-…

Hacker Gets 10 Years in Prison for Using Malware to Steal Data from US Companies

A Romania hacker received a ten-year prison sentence last week after he previously pleaded guilty to hacking several US companies and stealing…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 8:30 am @ http://news.softpedia.com/news/hacker-gets-10-year…

Reality Bites at Prada and Moschino

Even Giorgio Armani, the designer who once upon a time solved the problem of what soft power looked like, was seemingly flummoxed by the propo…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 8:23 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/fashion/milan-fa…

7 Issues That Won’t Be Treated Seriously at Tonight’s Debate in Gary Johnson’s Absence

Tonight as many as 100 million Americans, God help us, will be tuning in to watch the first debate between the two most hated presidential nom…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 8:00 am @ http://reason.com/blog/2016/09/26/7-issues-that-wo…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…