I recently did some school shopping with my youngest granddaughter, and my eyes were agog with the many things we have to choose from to prepare for school! One thing again stood out as a real health concern: Back Packs for our Students.
In Proverbs 22: 6 (ESV) we hear, Train up a child in the way he should go; and even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I was amazed again at the styles and colors and especially the weight of the backpacks being marketed. Last year I printed an article about this topic and I feel I need to repeat it for all of us to review to help us help prevent back problems in our young students as well as those who are packing around such heavy loads at middle and high school.
I have some facts posted on my hallway parish nurse bulletin board for proper fit for a back pack. In addition, we need to make sure that the weight is not more than 10-15% of the child’s body weight as a general rule, and adapted accordingly for each child’s physical ability and health.
When packing, put heaviest items in the bottom, and pack the backpack to be as flat as possible.
Use both shoulder straps! The illustrations on the bulletin board show proper positioning, and I urge you to show your children and continually monitor this until they “get it.”
School starts in less than two weeks for Peace, and I urge each of you to be good back pack examples for others. Take good care of your back – it is part of the earthly body that God has given to each of you.
In these hot days of summer, I also want to remind you about the importance of knowing the signs of heat exhaustion and the importance of proper hydration. Every age is susceptible to health emergencies in this area, and especially the very young and the “more mature” members of our family. Make sure you are drinking lots of fluids and providing cooling fans if you don’t have air conditioning.
Please also take note of the poster on my bulletin board inviting us to learn more about what Coffee Oasis is doing for the teens in our community. We are one of many in the community providing meals each month for a Coffee Oasis venue, and Tracyton Methodist is hosting this informative evening this Thursday, August 25 at 6:00 pm to help us be better informed. I urge any of you who have helped or are interested in this outreach to join me for an evening of food, fellowship with our neighbors in faith, and some information about the growing need for more help.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace, firstname.lastname@example.org