Pick it, Pack it and Wear it Correctly to Lose the Backpack Burden
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2010
10th National School Backpack Awareness Day Goes “Family Style” on September 15
Bethesda, MD — Injuries and pain caused by heavy school backpacks can be minimized if students and caregivers follow a few simple steps. Occupational therapists suggest adult family members use similar strategies when carrying briefcases, purses and suitcases.
With a decade of experience educating the nation about backpack safety, the American Occupational Therapy Association offers the following advice as National School Backpack Awareness Day (Wednesday, September 15) draws closer:
- Choose a backpack with heavily padded straps that also features shoulder and chest straps
- Pack the heaviest items in the back of the backpack and place lighter items towards the front
- Wear both shoulder straps unless the backpack is designed for use on one shoulder
- A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight
“People of all ages are encouraged to attend National School Backpack Awareness Day: Family Style events to learn how to properly pack, wear, and use their bags of all shapes and sizes. Proper usage today truly fosters a healthy back tomorrow,” said Dr. Karen Jacobs, EdD, an occupational therapist, former president of AOTA, and board certified professional ergonomist.
Jacobs is a major force behind National School Backpack Awareness Day, serving as a national spokesperson since its inception, and helped AOTA put together many tip sheets on backpack safety.
Tips for adults include:
- Select purses with built-in compartments. This helps distribute the weight more evenly.
- Select a briefcase made of light materials such as microfiber and nylon.
- Opt for carrying two light suitcases, one in each hand, rather than one heavy suitcase in one hand or on your shoulder.
For more tips and information about backpack and bag safety for all ages, visit the Backpack Day Web site at www.aota.org/backpack. If you would like to interview Karen Jacobs, please contact Beth Mullen at 301-652-6611, ext. 2963, or email@example.com.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.
CONTACT: Beth Mullen
(301) 652-6611 x 2963