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Back-to-School is Time to Check Child Backpacks
Drs. Neal and Nicole Barry

Because carrying a backpack improperly, or one that is tooheavy, can cause a child to have immediate and long-term back problems, we urge parents of school-aged children to follow important safety tips for purchasing and using backpacks as they look ahead to the start of the new school year. Experts recommend that students carry no more than 15 percent of their own weight in their backpacks, but as many as 55% of students exceed this limit. A 2004 study of 3,500 California students found back pain to be highly prevalent, severe, chronic and related to backpack weight. Backpack injury is one health problem that can easily be avoided by following a few simple, preventive steps. Drs. Barry along with the California Chiropractic Association recommend parents consult the Backpack Safety Checklist below and schedule visits (ith the backpack) to avoid childhood backpack injuries:

Backpack Safety Checklist

When choosing a backpack, look for:

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Lumbar support
  • Waist belt
  • Multiple compartments
  • Correct size

How to pack:
  • Loaded backpacks should weigh no more then 15% of the child's body weight
  • Distribute the weight properly; load heavier items closest to the back

How to wear:
  • Take the backpack off when standing for a long time
  • Wear both shoulder straps
  • Tighten straps until snug, but not tight
  • Use the stabilizing waist strap

In This Issue:
Back to School is Time to Check Child Backpacks
Kinesiotape: Treating you like a Gold Medal Athlete Dr. Nicole's Kid Corner: ADHD Dietary and Chiropractic Support
Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes

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