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    Occupational Therapy Newsletter

    September Edition

    Hello Parents and Guardians!

          As we start a new school year, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Seaton and I am the Occupational Therapist here at school 4. This year I will be going into your child's classroom and doing fun skill building activities with them once a week. If your child went to school 7 for preschool last year there is a good chance they already know me!

          We will be working on many different skills throughout the school year including fine motor (small muscle movement and strength), gross motor (large muscle movement and strength), hand-eye coordination, sensory integration and a few other skills that will help them be successful in their academic environment. Sometimes I will send activities home to complete but these are optional (I know we are all very busy!).  If you ever have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me anytime at sseaton@dunkirk.wnyric.org until October 5th, then my email will change to sseaton@dunkirkcsd.org.

          With National School Backpack Awareness Day just around the corner (September 26, 2018), be sure to check your child's backpack weight to avoid the back pain and injury that can come with a heavy backpack or bag. The following are some tips for backpack safety:

    1. Pack It
      Utilize different compartments and pockets to distribute weight
      Heavier items closer to the back center of the backpack
      Lighter items in the front of the backpack
      Sharp items away from the back
      Lighten the load so it is no more than 10% of your child’s weight; heavy backpacks can cause falls and spinal damage

           2. Put It On
               Teach your child to pick up the backpack by bending and lifting in the knees instead of the waist to prevent back injury

      “The selection of a backpack is a family affair. By joining together as a team, children will realize the importance of proper backpack wearing. It should be considered a fun family activity. The bottom line message is to have children begin to take more responsibility for their physical health.”

    —Dr. Karen Jacobs, Occupational Therapist and Ergonomist

           3. Adjust & Carry
                 Always use both shoulder straps to prevent injury
                 The backpack should rest snugly against the back.
                 Watch for warning signs that the backpack is too heavy, including:
                         -Difficulty when putting on or taking off the backpack
                         -Pain when wearing the backpack
                         -Tingling or numbness in the arms or legs
                         -Red strap marks on the shoulders
                         -Any change in side-to-side posture while wearing the backpack
                         -Adjust the shoulder and waist straps so that the pack fits comfortably.

                To ensure a proper fit, make sure the backpack does not extend past your child’s shoulders, or below the top of the hip bones.




    Occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent—or live better with—illness, injury, or disability.


    Your child can earn a PAW (ticket for a monthly raffle prize) if you print out and have them color this picture at: https://www.aota.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/Backpack/OT-Rex-Jr-Color-Me-Page.pdf

    Then send the picture back into school with your child. If you need me to send home a copy of the picture for them to color just send me an email.