Those books in your children’s backpacks are important, but practice caution as students take to the hallways and travel home carrying heavy loads.
Carie Crabb, Harris County Department of Education School-Based Therapy Services senior director and physical therapist, urges parents to consider several factors in consideration of their child’s back health.
Backpack safety tips:
• Choose the right size backpack: A small student needs a small backpack.
• The backpack should fit snugly, with the backpack bottom at or slightly below the waistline.
• Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
• Observe the 10 percent rule: A 50-pound student should only carry five pounds.
• Know the rules regarding backpacks at your child’s school. Some only allow clear packs for safety reasons.
Awareness about the potential strain of backpacks is a back-to-school initiative from
Harris County Department of Education’s School-Based Therapy Services division in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association.
HCDE physical, occupational and music therapists work with children in school settings through partnerships with school districts in greater Harris County. For more information, go to www.hcde-texas.org/therapyservices .