Saturday, August 11, 2007

Find a backpack that's safe as well as sporty for back-to-school

Picking the right backpack for your kids ...

"While summer is in full swing, signs of back-to-school are everywhere, as retail stores fill their shelves with school supplies - most notably, backpacks.

"All of a sudden, we're in the midst of a summer heat wave, and the next thing you know, we're shopping ... and everything is back to school," says Teri Mitchell, coordinator of school safety for Safe Kids Upstate, a South Carolina organization that educates the public about the prevention of childhood injuries.

Now is a good time for parents and children to educate themselves on backpack safety, Mitchell says.

"There are lots of backpacks out there, and we want to make sure that parents and children know the art of packing a book pack," she says. "Parents need to buy a good, strong backpack that has good padding on the shoulders. (They need to know) not to pack it too heavy - that's the big key."

A loaded backpack should equal no more than 15 percent of a child's body weight, Mitchell says.

Unfortunately, many people, regardless of age, tend to neglect their spinal health until they feel pain, says Luke Henry, D.C., owner of Henry Chiropractic Clinic in Greenville, S.C. Research shows that 80 percent of people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.

"Clearly, heavy backpacks are part of the problem," he says.

Improperly used backpacks put strain on the neck, shoulders and back."    (Continued via Lansing State Journal)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Backpack - Ergonomics


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