Words of Inspiration:
It takes rare gifts, talents and rare personalities to be real pathfinders in this work. There are no royal roads. It is all a problem of being true to ones natures and opportunities. And to teach others to do the same with themselves. -Adolf Meyer, OTR/L     I will walk the road however hard it is, because only on the road can you see that yesterday lies behind you and tomorrow waits on the path ahead. The road measures life in distance. The further you travel, the longer you live. -Ma Jian     It is not the way you fall, it's how you get up. -Michele Kwan     It takes courage to show your dreams to someone else. -Erma Bombeck     Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it turned into a butterfly. -Anonymous     Thank you to all my friends. -Christina Bellini-Zaher
long island therapy center for kids

Parent Log In

View website in: English | Español

Backpack Awareness is Important to Preventing Injuries

By Christina Bellini-Zaher, MS OTR/L
Principal, Therapy Center for Children, LLC

On Wednesday, September 15, occupational therapists nationwide will participate in National School Backpack Awareness Day.

Studies cited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) show that six out of 10 students 9-20 years of age reported backpack-related back pain. To combat this problem, AOTA has launched a “Pack it Light and Wear it Right” campaign to increase public awareness.

Here are some suggestions. Children should never carry more than 15% of their own body weight. This means, for a child who weighs 100 pounds, they should carry up to 15 pounds. Both straps of the backpack should be worn to avoid the curvature of the spine that occurs when children wear one strap and then tend to lean to the side. The straps should be adjusted to fit snugly and to allow the bottom of the backpack to remain in the curve of the lower back or above the rear. To distribute the load of weight, and to decrease the unintentional movement of the backpack, the heaviest items should be closest to the child’s back and the waist strap should be utilized. If that doesn’t work, a pull bag on wheels is a nice alternative, but may be difficult for younger children to manipulate. To help, parents should check to be sure their children are packing only items of necessity.

For young children, circle time in the classroom can be used to create mindfulness on this topic. Questions can be asked such as “What do you put in your backpack”? and “How does it feel when your backpack is too heavy”? The use of familiar characters in visual aids may help young children to recall the presented information. Rewards can be given for correct answers and handouts can be created to send home to parents. The use of a skeleton model to offer a simple anatomical lesson on where the backpack should be placed on the body and body locations that can be injured by backpacks may be interesting to older children. Older children may also benefit from questions to facilitate self-reflection on behaviors and habits related to backpack use. Weighing backpacks and utilizing math concepts can help to make it more academic.

The proper use of body mechanics is just one of the many areas in which occupational therapists work with families and their children to help them achieve maximum independence while they engage in the meaningful significant activities in their lives.

To learn more about this program, visit www.aota.org.


Meet TCC - Read Staff Bios

About Therapy Center for Children

Founded by Christina Bellini-Zaher, MS, OTR/L, The Therapy Center for Children is a "placement agency" composed of licensed and experienced pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and special educators.

Click Here to Read More
Testimonials - What TCC Clients are Saying

Therapy Center Testimonials

By far the most happiest & proudest mother in the world!! From holding his straw cups to rolling about on the floor & now holding up a stand for several seconds! Although there is a long & rough journey ahead to come, I know only the best could come out of him...

Click Here to Read More
© 2023 Therapy Center for Children.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website's owner is strictly prohibited.
DMCA.com Protection Status
This website is designed and maintained by the Public Relations and Marketing Group. Long Island Graphic and Web Design.

Accessibility Statement