The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is sponsoring National School Backpack Awareness Day, an annual national educational even,t to call attention to health problems in children and adults caused by backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission reported that in 2007, more than 23,000 emergency room visits resulted from injuries related to backpacks and book bags.
Have you noticed how many books and other items your child carries to and from school daily? Research suggests that the amount of weight children carry in their backpacks is a growing national health concern. Problems that can be related to improper backpack use include neck, shoulder and low back pain. Postural changes can occur as children change the way that they hold their bodies to compensate for the weight of their backpack.
Use this September 18th, National School Backpack Awareness Day, as a reminder to look at your child with their backpack on and consider if changes need to be made to what they carry and how the pack is worn. Here are some helpful handouts that provide information about where to get started. Whats All the Flap About backpack awareness day and Backpack Strategies for Parents Students backpack awareness day
Pediatric Occupational Therapy can help to provide organizational strategies to reduce the need to carry as many supplies each day. Education can be provided about finding the right size and style pack to fit the child’s body. In OT, children can learn exercises to develop core strength and good posture with and without a backpack on. Our clinic has occupational therapy in network providers for United Healthcare, PacificSource and many other health plans.