Today’s post was written by Concordia Physical Therapist Assistant Marcy Reott. At Concordia Outpatient Therapy, we have the expertise and resources to help get patients back to life – regardless of age.
It’s that time of year again when kids will be heading back to school before we know it. For many parents and grandparents, this means it’s time to go backpack shopping. But things are a little different than they were years ago, when the biggest decision was which cartoon character you wanted to grace the front or which color you preffered. Did you know that in 2013, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 3,000 children were treated for backpack-related injuries?
Making sure your kids or grandkids have the best fitting and functional backpack to help them through the school year is essential. While favorite characters and styles help define your child’s personality, it is important to find a backpack that also helps keep them healthy. According to The American Occupational Therapy Association and Parents.com, there is more to keep in mind than one might think.
Tips for Picking a Backpack
Backpacks can come with a variety of features. Some features may seem more convenient than others, such as Velcro. However, Velcro tends to wear fast and will not have the longevity of a zipper. Other considerations can be wheels, if allowed by the school, to help with heavier loads. Reflectors are a good way to help your child be seen on those dark mornings while walking to school or waiting on the bus. Fabric choices can make a difference with wear and moisture. Nylon or polyester blends will be more water resistant and have more durability as compared to cotton blends.
Tips for Packing a Backpack
Injuries can occur from a backpack being lifted wrong, worn improperly or being overloaded. Common things that may occur are lower back strains and neck strains, which can be painful and affect your child’s performance both academically and physically. Always bend and lift in the knees, adjust the backpack to rest snugly against the back, and be aware of warning signs that the bag is too heavy (difficulty lifting, pain, numbness or tingling, red strap marks, etc).
If your child/grandchild experiences an injury from an overloaded backpack (or you do while trying to move it off the kitchen table), refer to a physician or emergency room. Consult your family doctor for a prescription for Physical Therapy if muscle and joint injuries are persistant. Remember, we are able to treat all your therapy needs that result from any injuries with a script from your doctor.
When it comes to outpatient physical therapy in Saxonburg, Butler, Freeport, Cabot or any of the surrounding areas, we have the expertise to get you back to life. For information on scheduling a visit to Concordia Outpatient Physical Therapy, call 724-352-4535.
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