Firelands Regional Medical Center and Woodlands Intermediate School Join to Lighten the Burden of School Backpacks
(September 8, 2017 – Sandusky) Firelands Regional Medical Center, in conjunction with Huron City Schools, will be conducting a backpack awareness day on September 20, 2017 to educate children, parents, school administrators, teachers, and communities about the serious health effects on children from backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly. This local event is part of the National School Backpack Awareness Day, being held by occupational therapy practitioners across the country.
A Backpack Awareness Day "Weigh-In" of 6th Grade students and their backpacks will take place to illustrate the amount of weight that school children are carrying on their backs to and from school each day. Occupational therapy practitioners from Firelands Regional Medical Center will provide examples of weighing backpack-wearing students or teachers at Woodlands Elementary School.
The event will take place at on Wednesday, September 20 at 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. at Woodlands Intermediate School, 1810 Maple Ave, Huron, Ohio in Mr. Kastor’s Health Class.
Firelands’ Lydia Rapson, MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist at Firelands Children’s S.P.O.T., will be coordinating the "weigh-in" activities and will be available to answer questions. Rapson is an expert on school ergonomics and the healthy growth and development of school-age children.
More than 79 million children and young adults in the U.S. carry heavy loads back and forth to school every day. Experts estimate that about 55 percent of them will be carrying too much weight. Research also shows children carrying overloaded and improperly worn packs are likely to experience neck, shoulder, and back pain; adverse effects on posture and the developing spine; and compromised breathing and fatigue. Some of these injuries continue into adulthood.
AOTA recommends that school backpacks weigh only 10 percent of a child’s weight. The growing awareness of potential long-term problems to children has resulted in increased medical research, and more coverage of the issue in mainstream publications as well as medical journals.