Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Orthopaedic surgeons offer tips to steer clear of injuries from backpacks

Choosing the Right Backpack

The correct use of both of the wide, well-padded shoulder straps will help distribute the weight of the backpack.
When choosing a backpack, look for some of the following features.

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps
  • Two shoulder straps
  • Padded back
  • Waist strap
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Rolling backpack
Injury Prevention

Always use both shoulder straps. Tighten the straps so that the pack is close to the body.
To prevent injury when using a backpack, do the following:

  • Always use both shoulder straps
  • Tighten the straps
  • Pack light
  • Organize
  • Remove items
  • Lift properly
  • Build muscle strength
Tips for Parents
Parents also can help.
  • Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about pain or discomfort that may be caused by a heavy backpack.
  • Do not ignore any back pain in a child or teenager.
  • Talk to the school about lightening the load.
  • Be sure the school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day. Team up with other parents to encourage changes.
  • If your child has back pain that does not improve, consider buying a second set of textbooks to keep at home.