Timeout New York Kids

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Back-to school strain


If you’re like us, the yearly back-to school shopping madness is on your mind. And even though your child may be more concerned with that crucial first day outfit than the impending courseload, take time to consider the indispensable accessory of the season: the backpack. When it comes to the way your child hauls books, function definitely trumps fashion.

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer reports frightening figures of children suffering a range of symptoms caused by their overloaded packs. Six out of ten children complain of chronic back pain, the Inquirer writes. In 2001, about 3,500 kids between the ages of 5 and 14 showed up in emergency rooms complaining of backpack-induced injuries. Poorly fitted and overfilled packs can also cause weakened muscles and poor posture.

In their promotional campaign for the National School Backpack Awareness Day, the American Occupational Therapy Association has put together a list of strategies to make your kid’s trip through the school hallways less painful. Children should, for example, never carry more than 15% of their body weight. Waist straps are encouraged, and heavy items should be loaded closest to the child’s back.

The complete list of safety tips is available here. Happy shopping!

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