Is your child’s backpack too heavy? The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends students carry no more than 10 percent of their total body weight on their backs.

Your child is a titan of textbooks—and they carry each and every one of them home after school. While your kiddo has to study, a weighty backpack can do physical damage.

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So what can your child to protect themselves? Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University said in a press release, “Practicing safe carrying techniques such as only carrying necessary items to and from school, or filling an empty water bottle at school rather than carrying a heavier filled one, can make a difference.”

Jacobs also added, “The 10 percent rule is a good one to follow, but the reality is that if it feels too heavy, it probably is.”

The AOTA also suggests that parents make sure the backpack is the right size for the individual child, adjust the backpack’s height so that it’s roughly two inches below the shoulder blades and extends to slightly above the waist, balance the backpack evenly or consider a bag on wheels. Padded shoulder straps and a hip belt can also help to reduce backpack-related physical strain.

Visit the AOTA’s website here for more information.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Ambermb via Pixabay

 

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