Pencils, pens, wide ruled paper, markers, crayons, folders, journal, daily planner, three-ring binders, stapler, staples, glue, tape and erasers. Don’t forget to throw in the latest and greatest lunch box as well text books. Here are a few tips to help protect your child’s body from the abundance of goodies that they are carting too and from school each day:
Packing a Back Pack:
- Your child’s backpack should not weigh more than approximately 10% of their body weight.
- The heaviest items that your child carries should be packed closest to their back.
- Arrange books and other school tools in a way in which they are not able to slide around in the backpack.
- Notice the items that your child takes to and from school each day. Could your child leave some items at school in their cubby or locker?
- To prevent a back pack from becoming too heavy or tightly packed, your child can carry a book in their arms.
- If your child’s book bag is still too heavy or bulky after incorporating these strategies, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.
Wearing a Back Pack:
- Ensure that the weight of your child’s back pack is evenly distributed to both shoulders.
- When choosing a back pack, select one with well-padded shoulder straps.
- Ensure that the back pack fits snugly on your child’s back. If a waist strap is available, encourage your child to secure it while wearing their back pack.
- Adjust the shoulder straps so that the back pack rests in the curve of their lower back.
- Choose the right back pack for your child’s age and size as well as one with enough room for all of their school supplies.
As a parent, you should routinely look for signs, including aching backs and shoulders, tingling arms, weakened muscles and a stooped posture that may result from a back pack that is too heavy or ineffectively packed. For additional tips, speak with a North Shore Pediatric Therapy Occupational Therapist.
*Back Pack Strategies for Parents and Students. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Retrieved from http://www.aota.org/DocumentVault/Backpack/44388.aspx