Boys Town Releases Five Tips to Prevent Kid's Backpack Pain

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Boys Town provides parents with tips to lighten the load in children's backpacks to prevent possible injury.

Parents should watch for warning signs that your child's backpack is too heavy.

Boys Town today announced strategies to prevent your children from developing an injury due to an overloaded backpack. The national child and healthcare organization, started over 90 years ago, is a leader in parenting advice. As your children head back to school, it is important to make sure they are properly carrying their school supplies in order to prevent muscle fatigue and strain. Boys Town Orthopedics and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommend these tips to prevent injury:
1.    Use a backpack with wide padded straps and a padded back.
2.    Firmly tighten backpack straps so that the backpack is held two inches above the waist.
3.    Use a hip strap when backpacks are overloaded to minimize muscle strain.
4.    Encourage your child to make frequent stops at his/her locker to unload books between classes.
5.    Make sure your child knows how to properly lift a heavy backpack. Your child should bend at the knees, use his/her legs to lift the backpack, and place one shoulder strap on at a time to avoid injury.

“Parents should watch for warning signs that your child’s backpack is too heavy,” said Dr. John Sheehan, Boys Town Pediatric Orthopedist. “Warning signs include: a change in posture when wearing the backpack, pain while wearing the backpack, struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack, red marks on the shoulders, and tingling or numbness in arms or legs.”

The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.

About Boys Town
Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2011, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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Kara Neuverth
Father Flanagan's Boy's Home
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