Backpack Safety, is not really about the backpack

Backpack Safety – It is not just a backpack issue


"Back to School"

“Back to School”

These two topics are intimately related, and any discussion about backpack safety needs to begin with the root cause, which is a lack of body awareness.

Lack of awareness creates a lack of value which leads to improper decision making and potential harm to the individual. The issue of backpack safety needs to be addressed on many levels and the focus needs to be proactive, not reactive.

The school of the future

It cannot be addressed by merely changing text books, adding lockers, roller bags, or through legislative means. Backpack safety is not just a school issue, it is a community issue.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 12,700 visits to emergency rooms in 1998 for backpack-related injuries in 5 to 18-year-olds. A recent survey of 101 doctors conducted by the American Academy of Orthopedist Surgeons revealed that 58% of the Orthopedists polled reported seeing kids with back or shoulder pain related to backpacks. The CPSC also reports that backpack-related injuries are up 330% since 1996. “That is the beginning of an epidemic, one that will cause serious damage to a child’s health for a lifetime,” said Dr. Arnsdorff, creator of Backpack Safety America.

The Quick Rules for Backpack Safety: backpack brochure 2015      Free Posture App (iPhone/iPad only)

  • Choose it Right     = Two Padded Shoulder Straps, waist belt is a bonus, Not so big it can get over loaded
  • Load it Right = Only what you need, leave the junk (games, toys etc..) at home
  • Lift it Right = Lift with both hands, Lift with the legs not the back.
  • Wear it Right =  Use both shoulder straps, high on the back not sagging down below your waist.

An empty roller bag can weigh up to 80% more than an empty backpack. Factor in the tendency to add more things to a roller bag, it can end up weighing 50 pounds or more. Students, parents, and teachers are in need of specific safety guidelines necessary to prevent future spinal conditions due to improperly worn backpacks.

At Active Chiropractic Wellness Center we are experts in human physiology and bio-mechanics. They have specific training in the assessment of body mechanics and understand the implications of abnormal spinal development as it pertains to the whole individual. Our team of doctors are highly trained and skilled in advanced methods for detecting and correcting spinal imbalances, and fully educated and licensed to provide comprehensive health screenings and physical examinations for children, athletes, and adults. Active Chiropractic Wellness Center has brought the Learning Curves curriculum to the Southern Maine Region to specifically empower our community through education. Working together, we hope to solve not only a backpack problem but to help adults and children develop balanced lifestyles and body awareness that will lead to proper decision making and improved overall health and wellness.

Learning Curves™ is a curriculum for teaching elementary school children (3rd, 4th, and 5th grades) about Backpack Safety, Spinal Health, and Body Awareness. Participating chiropractors, using a curriculum and tools provided by Learning Curves™, instruct students about various aspects of health. Learning Curves™ has been written by educators for chiropractors to properly teach children based on the aptitude and abilities of their respective ages. It was developed to meet national health education standards. Written by ToucanEd, the Learning Curves curriculum addresses multiple intelligences as well as encompasses many different aspects of health.

If you would like to bring Learning Curves™ to your school, day care, home school group, or parents group or if you want more information about children’s health and backpack safety, call Rachel at 207-571-8028 to schedule a special program.