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National School Backpack Awareness Day is Sept. 19

SEPTEMBER 19th is set aside as a national day to call awareness to the fact that backpacks are endangering our children's health.

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 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.

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Randy1949 September 15, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Unfortunately, that link led to a "Page Not Found". I'll have to try Google.
Randy1949 September 15, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Let's try this: http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/Awareness/School-Backpack-Awareness.aspx
Lyle Ruble September 15, 2012 at 07:07 PM
having had to buy textbooks for the last 40+ years, an e-reader and digital texts is the perfect solution. We had a major problem with backpacks in our community where kids in middle school were getting back injuries because of the heavy weights. Part of the solution was to change how homework was assigned, but the problem persisted. Universities are beginning to use more digitized texts and most libraries have a great deal of their reference libraries digitized. I have looked into the reasons why we haven't moved to digitized texts and readers. The conclusion that I have come to is that text book publishers are resisting the move. They stand to lose a huge money stream if schools move to digitized texts. The savings to school districts, parents and students would be phenomenal and the costs could be recouped in one year. It is time to use technology to our advantage and move to readers and e-texts.
Bob McBride September 15, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I wonder what the reaction is going to be when Siri Rel. 16 starts teaching classes. Talk about a phenomenal savings to school districts...
Darcie Koreen September 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM
ALAS! A sound of reasoning! Horray! I have grown weary of all the negativity and jokes that have been made on such a serious subject concerning our young people and their health. Unfortunately, to get 'the powers that be' to do the right thing without regard to the almighty dollar close to impossible. It will take the masses to get serious and stop the joking around in order to get this accomplished. Parents need to take action -- speak to there school officials and start demanding chance for the health and well-being of their children. Thank you for wise words.

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