Well­ness Arti­cles

Back to School and Back­pack Safety

Sev­eral news sto­ries and arti­cles have appeared speak­ing to the issue of back­pack safety in school chil­dren. One arti­cle from the Aug. 1, 2007 issue of the Okee­chobee News starts off by not­ing that back­packs can be pur­chased any­where, but very few peo­ple ask about the con­struc­tion of these packs. The arti­cle sug­gests that par­ents ask the fol­low­ing ques­tions. “How wide are the shoul­der straps? Does it dis­perse weight evenly? Does the bag have a waist belt to dis­perse weight to the hips?”

The Okee­chobee News arti­cle reports that accord­ing to the the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Ortho­pe­dic Sur­geons (AAOS), there are more than 21,000 backpack-​related injuries each year. The arti­cle notes that increased weight is a major issue. The result, as they sug­gest, is that, “This increase in weight can be cor­re­lated to an increase in chil­dren see­ing chiropractors.”

On July 12, 2007, the Cal­i­for­nia pub­li­ca­tion, The Acorn, also pub­lished a story on back­pack safety. In this story they quote Dr. Ger­ard W. Clum of the Foun­da­tion for Chi­ro­prac­tic Progress who advises, “Back­packs weigh­ing more than 15 pounds that are slung over a shoul­der pro­duce an imbal­ance in the rib cage.” He con­tin­ued by say­ing, “This type of repet­i­tive strain can also ini­ti­ate arm and hand numb­ness, headaches or backaches.”

The July 20, 2007 Toledo Free Press also ran a story on back­packs where they offered tips by the Amer­i­can Chi­ro­prac­tic Asso­ci­a­tion to “help pre­vent the need­less pain that back­pack mis­use could cause the stu­dents in your house­hold.” These tips included:

  • Make sure your child’s back­pack weighs no more than 10 per­cent of his or her body weight.
  • The back­pack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
  • A back­pack with indi­vid­u­al­ized com­part­ments helps in posi­tion­ing the con­tents most effectively.
  • Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoul­der straps.
  • The shoul­der straps should be adjustable so the back­pack fits to your child’s body.
  • If the back­pack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher.
  • Ran­dom Article

    A study pub­lished in the July 2006 issue of the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Man­aged Care showed an increase in the num­ber of peo­ple using

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