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Elementary and Primary Education
We’ve Got Your Back! Backpack Safety Tips for Students
News Release
Friday, August 17, 2018

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

Carie Crabb, Harris County Department of Education School-Based Therapy Services senior director and physical 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 slightly 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.

• Know the rules regarding backpacks at your child’s school. Some only allow clear packs for safety reasons.

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 provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax rate of $.005195. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.40 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE also operates four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated youth who require a low student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. The organization is governed by an elected board of seven trustees and has 1,060 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at

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