School is back in session and the backpacks are in full force! Remember that the 3rd Wednesday in September of each year is designated Backpack Awareness Day so this year it falls on September 16, 2015. Overweight backpacks remain a significant issue with school age students.
The recommendations from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) state that a backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the child’s total body weight. Thus a 100 lb. student should not carry a backpack weighing more than 10lbs. yet studies show that over half of school aged children carry a backpack that is heavier than these recommended guidelines.
This annual backpack day is designed to educate parents, teachers and administrators on the weight recommendations along with tips for fitting and managing a pack correctly. This includes using both shoulder straps, making sure the pack fits snugly against the back and making sure the bottom of the pack does not fall more than 4 inches below the child’s waistline.
You can go to the AOTA Backpack Awareness Info page for more ideas and information. Please help spread the word about Backpack Awareness Day at your school or community!