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Back to school


*Backpacks have become a staple of back to school accessories. They are great for carrying books and other essential school items and are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, designs and styles. Yet these useful bags are potentially harmful if not used correctly causing possible shoulder or neck injuries, back pain and muscle and joint strains. The following tips on backpack safety help reduce the chance of injury:

*When a backpack is fully loaded, it should not weigh more than 15 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight

*Never carry a backpack over one shoulder using only one strap. Always wear a backpack using both shoulder straps

*If a backpack has a wrist strap, use it

*Choose a backpack with wide straps. The best choice is a backpack with a padded back and padded straps

*Use all of the compartments in the backpack to distribute the weight of the contents more evenly

Michele Bell, PIO

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