Students are heading back to school starting this week and physical and occupational therapists at Harris County Department of Education offer tips for backpack safety. Five tips you can practice to help prevent backpack strain with your child: • The bottom of the backpack should rest in the curve of the back and be no more than four inches below your child’s waist • Have padded and adjustable shoulder straps. Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps when wearing the backpack to evenly distribute the weight of the pack. • Have a padded back that will provide cushioning against your child’s spine. • Have compartments to secure items in place and pack heavier items closest to the child’s back. • Weigh less than 10 percent of your child’s weight when fully packed. “Make sure only necessary items are inside your child’s backpack and that it is adjusted and worn correctly to prevent back strain and long-term effects on posture and the developing spine,” said Carie Crabb, senior director of HCDE School-Based Therapy Services. HCDE’s therapy specialists work with students in school districts and charter schools throughout greater Harris County. Specialists include physical therapists and assistants, occupational therapists and assistants, and music therapists. For questions about backpack safety or HCDE School-Based Therapy Services, contact Crabb at ccrabb@hcde-texas.org. Source: HCDE