National Spine Health Foundation Issues Backpack Safety Guide For Students, Families

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From proper weight distribution to safe lifting, these tips will help keep kids’ healthy all year

RESTON, Va., Aug. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As children prepare to head back to school, many families are on the lookout for the perfect backpack to send with them. To help, the National Spine Health Foundation (NSHF) has issued a new Backpack Safety Guide allowing families to avoid placing undue strain on a child’s back or neck.

“Families have a million things to think about with the return to school, and protecting their child’s back is incredibly important,” said Dr. Rita Roy, CEO of the National Spine Health Foundation. “This easy to understand guide will help parents and students find the right backpack, and reinforce proper wearing techniques to keep the whole family healthy.”

The downloadable Backpack Safety Guide provides essential tips that can have a big impact on students’ spinal wellness throughout the year:

  1. Use two shoulders. Double straps help to distribute weight evenly across the back, and can be fitted to accommodate coats and jackets as the weather changes.
  2. Balance the load. Using waist and chest straps will balance the weight load on the hips and keep the backpack stable while walking.
  3. Lighten the load. Children should not carry more than 10% to 20% of their body weight. Most kids carry more than this, which can pull their bodies forward or backward and cause undue neck or back pain.
  4. Bend at the knees. To avoid muscle strains children and parents should bend at the knees and use their legs when lifting backpacks.
  5. Wear it well. Make sure the backpack sits properly on your back. The best placement for your backpack is two inches above the waist.

If worn incorrectly, an otherwise stylish backpack can lead to spine problems which may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs. Backpacks don’t have to mean back pain. Following these back-to-school tips will protect students of all ages.

To learn more, read the National Spine Health Foundation’s Backpack Safety Guide here: https://spinehealth.org/backpack-tips/

About the National Spine Health Foundation
The National Spine Health Foundation (NSHF), a 501-C(3) nonprofit organization, is the only patient-centered non-profit organization dedicated to spine health education and advocacy. Learn more at spinehealth.org

SOURCE National Spine Health Foundation

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