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Backpack Safety Beginning to Pay Off

A study in the September 7, 2004 release from "Business Wire" declares how the efforts to educate the public about backpack safety began to show positive results. For quite some time the chiropractic profession, continues to be on a pursuit to educate the general public concerning the risks of incorrect backpack use in young spines.

In accordance with the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, the quantity of ER visits associated with backpack injuries is down from 7,860 to 7,649 over a twelve month period. Previous to this, reports of such emergency room visits were up annually, having increased 360 percent since 1996.

Dr. Marvin Arnsdorff of Chiropractic USA and co-founder of Backpack Safety America / International thinks that this is great news and not so good news. He states, "For the very first time since these numbers were reported, we notice that parents, teachers, students and health care professionals have become conscious of the matter and making plans to handle it." He continued, "The bad news is that the numbers continue to be needlessly high plus the pain and suffering brought on by overloaded and improperly worn backpacks is definitely preventable."

"Students, parents and educators should be aware of the risks associated with using backpacks," says Dr. Arnsdorff. "We're dedicated to the health and safety of these children, so we help raise awareness through our work with schools and the community."

Dr. Arnsdorff, together with thousands of Chiropractors as well as other health professions have joined together to promote backpack health and safety and have issued the following safety tips from Backpack Safety America / International:

* Choose right: Bring a buddy to assist you measure your backpack properly. The correct size backpack is 75 % of the length of your back, approximately the area between your shoulder blades and waist.
* Pack right: The ideal weight of the loaded backpack must not exceed 15 % of your body weight. Pack only the thing you need for the entire day. Carry a book or two by hand to alleviate the burden if needed. If the backpack forces the wearer to lean forward to carry, it's overloaded.
* Don't swing your backpack. It could possibly hurt you and also it really is dangerous to those surrounding you.
* Ensure that pens, pencils as well as other sharp objects are kept in a secure spot so that they don't poke through and injure you or someone else.
* When lifting you backpack follow these procedures, 1. Face the pack. 2. Bend at the knees. 3. Using both hands, check the weight of the pack. 4. Lift with your legs. 5. Apply one shoulder strap at a time. Avoid slinging the pack onto your back.

For more information on backpack safety and how you can bring a program to your school or school district, visit or contact Backpack Safety America / International at 1 800 672-4277 or send an e-mail message to .

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