BC's Chiropractors Remind Parents and Students about Backpack Safety

RICHMOND, BC, Aug. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Back to school season will soon be upon us and the British Columbia Chiropractic Association (BCCA) is taking this opportunity to remind students, teachers and parents about the dangers of improper backpack use.  Through the "Pack it Light, Wear it Light" backpack safety program, BC's chiropractors are working to reinforce the benefits of selecting a good quality backpack, packing it appropriately and wearing it correctly.

Research suggests that carrying too much weight or wearing a backpack incorrectly is associated with long-term health risks such as back pain, poor posture and headaches. As a result, over 50 per cent of Canadian youth will suffer at least one back pain episode before they reach adulthood.  Not only are these injuries painful, they can directly impact the enjoyment of leisure and sports activities that form a critical part of a young person's life.

The Pack it Light, Wear it Right backpack safety program encourages students to adopt the following safety tips to minimize the risk of injury:

  • Select a backpack with a lot of pockets and two wide padded shoulder straps.
  • The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the shoulder when worn.  The bottom of the bag should not fall below the top of the hipbone.
  • Carry only the items you need for the day ahead.  Store extra items in a locker or desk.
  • Evenly distribute weight throughout pockets and compartments.
  • Pack heavy items in the part of the backpack that is closest to your body.
  • The total weight of the packed bag should not exceed 15 per cent of your body weight or 10 per cent for younger children.
  • Put your bag on one strap at a time from a chair or table.
  • Adjust both straps so that the backpack fits snuggly.  Wear both straps.
  • Stand up straight and don't slouch when wearing your backpack.  If your pack is too heavy, lighten your load.

More information and complimentary Pack it Light, Wear it Right resources are available at bcchiro.com/backpacksafety.  Parents and children can also consult their family chiropractor for personalized advice.  By sharing this information, BC's chiropractors hope that fewer children experience pain from an overloaded backpack and can instead focus on the school year ahead.

The British Columbia Chiropractic Association (BCCA) is the voluntary professional organization that represents B.C.'s chiropractic doctors on matters including health policy, public information, and liaison with health authorities.

SOURCE: British Columbia Chiropractic Association

For further information:

Media Contact:
Dr. Jay Robinson
President, BCCA

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