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August 23, 2011

Here are some safety tips for those backpacks


It’s back to school time, and Chris Wood, a physical therapist at Good Samaritan Hospital, has some tips for backpack safety.

“Backpacks – when used correctly – are better than shoulder bags or purses because the back and stomach muscles support the weight which allows for even distribution across the child’s body,” he said in a statement. “If used incorrectly, however, backpacks can cause students to have numbness, tingling and pain.”

Here are the tips, which he says also come recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

+Make sure the backpack is no more than 15 percent of the student’s body weight. If the students has to lean forward to carry the load, it’s too heavy.

+The backpack should be place evenly over the shoulder blades, and not slung over one shoulder.

+Ensure the pack has loose straps because those that are too tight can interfere with circulation and nerves.

+Look for a pack that is made of lightweight fabric such as canvas, and not leather.

+Other good features to look for include multiple compartments and a waist belt for even distribution and a padded back.

Perhaps the nurses at Franklin Square Hospital will pass this information along with the backpacks and school supplies it plans to pass onto 565 students at Hawthorne Elementary School this Thursday. It’s an annual event to provide the packs. The nurses have provided packs to other schools in past years.

Are there others passing out packs for kids?

Patuxent Publishing photo

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 7:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Healthy Living


Kudos to our sister hospital Good Samariatan for providing these useful tips! The nurses and staff at Franklin Square will be happy to share them with the Hawthorne Elementary students and parents.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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