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Pointer ViewSchool backpacks: Proper selectioncan help reduce children’s injuriesBy West Point Safety OfficeAs summer winds down, back toschool shopping moves to the forefrontfor most parents.In addition to new clothes or thelatest gear, parents should not forget tothink about how their child will carrybooks and other materials back and forthto school.Normally this involves the useof a backpack. Backpacks come inmany shapes, sizes and colors butperhaps the most important feature is thefunctionality of the backpack.Selecting the proper backpack maysignificantly reduce the risk of injury toyour child.Overloaded backpacks usedby children have recently receiveda considerable amount of attentionfrom parents, doctors and schooladministrators.The U. S. Consumer Product SafetyCommission estimates there are morethan 7,000 backpack-related injuriesannually treated by doctors and hospitals.These injuries include bruises,sprains and strains to the back andshoulders and even fractures.When selecting a backpack for yourchild to take to school consider thefollowing:• Ergonomically-designed featuresenhance safety and comfort;• A padded back reduces pressure onthe back, shoulders and under arm areasof the body;• Hip and chest belts transfer some ofthe backpack weight from the back andshoulders to the hips and torso;• Multiple compartments betterdistribute the weight in the backpack,keep items secure and make it easier toaccess the contents;• Compression straps on the sidesor bottom of the backpack stabilizearticles and compress contents so that allitems are as close to the wearer’s backas possible;• Reflective material enhancesvisibility of the wearer during periodsof decreased lighting.Once the backpack is selected it isimportant to wear it properly. Parentsare encouraged to consider the followingwith their children:• Lighten the load. Choose to carryonly those items that are required for theday. Each night check for articles that canbe left at home for the next day;• Use both straps. By using bothshoulder straps, the weight of thebackpack is better distributed and it willhelp a child’s posture;• Wear the backpack over thestrongest mid-back muscles. The sizeof the backpack should match the sizeof the child.The backpack should rest evenlyin the middle of the back and shoulderstraps should be adjusted to allowthe child to put on and take off thebackpack without difficulty and allowfree movement of the arms. Backpacksare a practical way to carry books andsupplies to, from and around school.By considering the design andfeatures of a backpack before makinga final purchase, parents can help makesure their child’s backpack is bothfunctional and safe.IN FOCUS: BACK-TO-SCHOOLBy West Point SchoolsAugust 13, 2015West Point Schools announced a free and reduced price meal policy for all area school children. Localschool officials have adopted the following family eligibility criteria to assist them in determining eligibility:INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINESFOR FREE AND REDUCED PRICE MEALS(2015–16 School Year)FREE ELIGIBLITY SCALE REDUCED PRICE ELIGIBLITY SCALEFree LunchReduced Price LunchHouseholdHouseholdSize Year Month Week Size Year Month Week1 $15,301 $1,276 $295 1 $21,775 $1,815 $4192 $20,709 $1,726 $399 2 $29,417 $2,456 $5673 $26,117 $2,177 $503 3 $37,167 $3,098 $7154 $31,525 $2,628 $607 4 $44,863 $3,739 $8635 $36,933 $3,078 $711 5 $52,559 $4,380 $1,0116 $42,341 $3,529 $815 6 $60,255 $5,022 $1,1597 $47,749 $3,980 $919 7 $67,951 $5,663 $1,3078 $53,157 $4,430 $1,023 8 $75,647 $6,304 $1,455For each additional family member Add For each additional family member Add+ $5,408 + $451 + $104 + $7,696 + $642 + $148West Point School is a participant in the NationalSchool Lunch Program. The lunch program isregulated and subsidized by both the state andfederal governments and meets the new standards fornutrition set by the State Department of Educationand the USDA.The cafeteria offers three different entrees everyday. The entrée choice is made each morning inthe classroom and sent to the cafeteria. All entrée’sinclude vegetable, fruit and milk.For details, call Georgi Nappo, Child NutritionDirector, at 938-1816.5

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