By Kate Hunger
Did you know a student's backpack should weigh no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight?
First-and-second-year Occupational Therapy students share those facts and more with parents and students at a back-to-school event at Palo Alto College on August 5 sponsored by State Sen. Carlos Uresti (Dist.19).
The OT students demonstrated how to safely wear and fill backpacks, said Kimatha Grice, OTD, OTR, CHT, associate professor, who also attended the event. It's important to teach parents and children how to safely use backpacks so that they avoid long-term back and neck pain caused by carrying bags that are too heavy, she said. Backpack wearers should use both straps to avoid excess strain, she added.
"If they start out really young, by the time they are in high school" they could have chronic issues, Grice said of the effect of heavy backpacks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2013 reported that nearly 22,000 injuries caused by backpacks, including sprains, strains, dislocations and according to the American Occupational Therapy Association.
National Backpack Awareness Day is Sept. 20 for more information, please visit the American Occupational Therapy Association.