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A Pediatric Perspective

Coming (really) Soon! Backpack Awareness Day

Published September 10, 2012 12:09 PM by Cecilia Cruse
September is just rushing by!  I meant to get out this reminder earlier but there is still time to get in on the action if you act quickly!  The 3rd Wednesday in September of each year is designated Backpack Awareness Day so this year it falls next week on September 19, 2012.  Overweight backpacks remain a significant issue with school age students.   AOTA updated recommendations 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 55% of children carry a backpack that is heavier than these recommended guidelines.  And so the annual backpack day is a call to awareness to educate parents, teachers and administrators on the weight recommendations along with tips for fitting and managing a pack correctly.  I have heard of therapists doing on site backpack weigh ins and recommendations at their local schools, while others have set up displays at a local business such as a retail or grocery store. You can go to the AOTA Backpack Awareness Info page for more ideas and helpful printouts and/or visit OTConnections to see what therapists/communities have done in years past.  I urge you to spread the word and/or get involved with Backpack Awareness Day at your school or clinic.   Let's be sure we are taking a load off of our children and the students we serve.

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