YES, there seems there is a "NATIONAL DAY" for just about everything!
But seriously, backpacks are endangering the health and well-being of our childen! Those of you out there with school age children, please take pause and think about this. In a recent article I read on The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc's website it said that "overloaded school backpacks are accounting for more and more injuries in kids and more trips to the emergency rooms." I found this news alarming that this younger generation is being injured because of the school books they need to carry.
To add to that, the cause and affect factor can kick in years later. How many young adults now are having back surgeries because they injured their back from using those back backs during their school days.
The article concluded with the following guidelines:
- "the back pack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s weight,
- the back pack should have two thick straps
- the back pack should be carried over both shoulders at all times"
Oh, by the way, you’ll want to check with your child’s school before you purchase a pack on wheels. Many schools have disallowed them as dangerous. Understandable! In some cases, the kids almost have to run to make it from one class to the next. The wheels would create a trip hazard for them.
One suggested solution was to have two sets of books; one for at school and one for at home. I foresee that as being a huge added expense. Have you checked the price of school books lately? Also, parents can check the packs to assure that only necessary items are in the back pack, not any extra stuff that would add weight.
Another suggestion that just came to me is to add an extra couple minutes between classes giving the students time to go to their lockers to get the books for the next class so they don't have to carry books for several classes at one time.
When I was in school we all carried our books in our arms. No backpacks, no school bags. A kid would have been laughed out of the school by his/her peers if any kind of book bag were used. Now the kids don’t go to school without one.
I don’t know what the solution is. I do know that something needs to change for the health and well-being of our younger generation. Perhaps if parents all contact their children’s school or the local schools or PTAs on the 19th as a group effort it might have an impact on the people in charge and perhaps they will begin to formulate a solution to this situation.