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Did you know that 55 percent of students are wearing backpacks that are too heavy for their body? Bryan Health has important advice on taking the load off your kids and making sure they are wearing the right backpack properly.

When Backpacks Attack

Backpacks continue to get heavier, even for elementary school-age children. These heavier backpacks can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. A heavy backpack can also have long-term effects. The overweight packs can cause scoliosis, damage to the spine and reduce breathing capacity due to poor posture.

A loaded backpack should never weigh more than 15 percent of the student’s weight. Just a couple books and a lunch can quickly approach this safe threshold.

Reducing the Load

Encourage your child to only pack the essentials and leave some books and supplies at home or in their locker. Don’t be afraid to work with teachers to find out what is essential. In some cases, you might be able to buy duplicate supplies for your house, so your child doesn’t need to transport items to use at home and at school.

Hydration is great, but a full water bottle can add weight. Send your child to school with an empty water bottle and have them fill it when they get there.

Another way to lighten the load is by buying the right backpack for your child.

Choose it Right

Backpacks have evolved over time, starting out as a simple knapsack to now being large bags nearly the size of our kids, making them look like cute little turtles. As cute as the large backpacks might look, we have to make sure our children have a backpack that fits their body.

Here are four things to consider when purchasing a backpack:

1. Lightweight – Make sure the backpack is not adding too much to your child’s load. Leather packs look cool, but they weigh more than canvas backpacks.

2. Wide straps – Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms and hands when too much pressure is applied. Straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders.

3. Padded back – Provides more comfort and protects your child from being poked by sharp objects or edges inside the pack.

4. Waist belt – Helps distribute the weight more evenly across the body.

Wear it Right

Now the hard part – getting your child to wear the backpack properly.

Follow these five guidelines:

· Use both straps to help distribute weight evenly across the body. While, throwing the backpack over one shoulder has always been an easy and popular way to wear a backpack, it can lead to health problems.

· Make sure the straps fit snug against the body. This will relieve pressure from your child’s spine and shoulders.

· The top of the backpack should be about two inches below the shoulder blades with the bottom resting in the curve of the lower back.

· Wear the waist strap. Make sure you buy a backpack that has a waist strap and have your child wear it! Although it is one extra click, having this strap secured will help with balance and distributing weigh evenly across the body.

· Pack it right. Make sure the backpack weighs less than 10 percent of your child’s weight. Make a game of figuring this out. Have your child step on a scale without the backpack, then put the backpack on and see how much weight it adds. This could even be a way to sneak some math skills into your child’s day – younger children could use addition/subtraction skills while older kids can practice figuring percentages!

SOURCE: http://www.1011now.com/content/news/Backpack-Safety-Choosing-the-right-backpack-for-your-child-488983231.html

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To best serve your individual needs, please choose from the following options:

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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