Those books in your children’s backpacks are important, but practice caution as students take to the hallways and travel home carrying heavy loads. Jean Polichino, Harris County Department of Education Therapy Services director and occupational therapist, urges parents to consider several factors in consideration of their child’s back health.
Backpack safety tips:
• Choose the right size backpack: A small student needs a small backpack.
• The backpack should fit snugly, with the backpack bottom at or slight below the waistline.
• Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
• Observe the 10 percent rule: A 50 pound student should only carry five pounds.
Awareness about the potential strain of backpacks is a back-to-school initiative from Harris County Department of Education’s Therapy Services division in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association.
HCDE physical, occupational and music therapists work with children in school settings through partnerships with school districts in greater Harris County. For more information, go to www.hcde-texas.org/therapyservices .
About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE provides education services to the general public and 25 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, Early Childhood Intervention and Head Start programs. We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support. Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at www.hcde-texas.org .