OU students teach backpack safety

Wednesday, September 21st 2005, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

If your child carries a backpack to school, they may be hurting themselves. As News on 6 anchor Tami Marler shows us, some OU students are spreading awareness about backpack safety and helping kids lighten their load.

OU student Shannon Tubb: "So we just want to help you guys learn a little bit about how to pack your backpacks and how to wear them, so you won't have any back problems when you get older." It's National Backpack Awareness Day and some occupational therapy students from the University of Oklahoma are hoping to make these McClure Elementary School students aware of the hazards of toting their bags the wrong way. Shannon Tubb: "This backpack is wrong because all my books are in the very front of my back so it's pulling me back a lot more than if it's closer to my back."

They considered bags of all shapes and sizes and taught kids which ones really work and which ones just look cool. Shannon Tubb: "We don't want to carry things diagonally like this, because it causes you to shift your weight, and it's really hard on your shoulders."

After the lesson, the kids were tested. How would they measure up when it came to the ratio of what they're lugging around on their backs, compared with their body weight? 15 percent is the recommended limit. McClure student Mariah Johnson: "We were learning about our backpacks and stuff. Like how much our backpacks weigh with us on back and telling us how much we weigh with our backpacks." McClure student Roshunda Johnson: "I weigh 100 pounds and my backpack weighs 10."

Shannon Tubb: "Great today our class, nobody was over the weight limit. We're really proud about that. And they were eager to learn and they learned some new ways to put on their backpacks and hold them correctly."

Mariah Johnson: "I learned that not to put it the wrong way. To put it the right way and it won't hurt you when you get older, that your back will not have back pain." That was the goal.

Experts say if your student has more than 15 percent of his or her body weight to carry, then they need a book bag with wheels.