Those books in your children’s backpacks are important, but practice caution as students take to the hallways and travel home carrying heavy loads.

National School Backpack Awareness Day is September 21. Jean Polichino, Harris County Department of Education School-Based Therapy Services senior 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 School-Based 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 .

About Harris County Department of Education (HCDE): Serving students, teachers, schools and communities throughout Harris County, HCDE is a local governmental organization providing value for school districts while supporting educational opportunity. Partnering with Harris County school districts, HCDE maximizes local resources and responds to the needs of locally elected school boards and education leaders.  HCDE services include school-based therapy for students, afterschool programs, Head Start, educator training, adult education and programs to promote safe schools. To learn more about how your county department of education can help

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