Are you gearing up to host an event for AOTA’s National School Backpack Awareness Day? On Sept. 17, 2014, thousands of children across the U.S. will gather to learn about the importance of packing their backpacks wisely and the dangers of improperly carrying heavy loads. To help drive home the point that backpacks should weigh no more than 10% of a child’s body weight, AOTA has created a new handout that will make it easier to relay the actual weight of the backpacks to students and parents. Download "My Backpack Weighs" or "My Bag Weighs" for your event here.

At your weigh-in event, simply write the weight of the child’s backpack and check “Too Heavy” or “Just Right” at the bottom. Participants can take the handout home to their parents to raise awareness about the weight of their backpack. The handout also includes the web address containing AOTA’s tips for packing and carrying backpacks.

The handout is perfect for sharing on social media! With permission, take photos to publicize your event. Be sure to include #BackpackSafety whenposting to Twitter and Instagram. (Note: You should be sure to have parents and guardians sign this photo permission form.)

AOTA held an informal Bag Weigh-In Event this week to see how AOTA staff members’ bags stacked up. Participants liked the handout as a visual reminder of how heavy their load is and were happy to pose for a quick photo that we turned into a video to share on several social media platforms.

We welcome you to print and distribute our handout. And we wish you the very best of luck with your Backpack Day event!