Monthly Archives: August 2012

Back-to-School Backpack Reminder From Dr. Russell Caram

Back-to-School Backpack Reminder From Dr. Russell Caram

School Backpacks Should NOT Mean Back PAIN

This has become quite a hot topic over the last decade or so.  The usage of backpacks amongst school-age kids has risen dramatically over the last 10-15 years and with it, so has the incidence of back pain and injury amongst children and students.  Studies have reported that up to 64% of children suffer from back pain (Negrini, 1999), and John Hopkins Children Center (as well as other facilities)  have shown that backpacks cause back and shoulder pain and poor posture in children.

Carrying a backpack too low or with too much weight can cause shoulder and neck problems

The BIG Question: “How much weight should be in there?”

This typically depends on the child.  Most studies come to the consensus that the backpack contain no more than 10-15% of the childs/students weight.  For a 40 lb. kindergartener, that would amount to between 4 and 6 lbs.  For a 120 lb. high schooler, it’s between 12 and 18 lbs. Keep in mind the physique of the child as well…the taller and thinner should be on the low end of the scale, where shorter and stockier can go higher.  This has everything to do with leverage in developing bodies.  When a tall, thin 12-year old, 75 lb. girl is carrying 10 lbs in a backpack, it’s much different than a more muscular and shorter 75 lb. 12 year old girl.  A good example would be trying to walk and maintain holding a 12 lb. bowling ball overhead, compared to holding it at your shoulder height. You’re more stable with the weight lower in the backpack and closer to your body’s center of gravity. There are typically waist straps on most packs, and using them will allow for the pack’s weight to transfer to the hips and waist and off of the shoulders and thorax.

I’ve heard of parents telling me that their 85 lb. daughter is carrying 35 – 40 lbs. of stuff in her backpack, EVERY DAY!!  That’s the kind of thing that will keep students in pain, and me VERY busy for the rest of my career. (Remember, pain reduces one’s ability to concentrate…in students, that leads to poor grades. So if your child is complaining of back or neck pain, pay attention or their grades may unknowingly suffer.)

Backpacks should carry no more than 15% of the child’s weight.

So, here are some helpful tips – as well as a reference for all you parents to go by.  Follow these tips and your child will be in the minority of those using back packs and suffering because of it:

  • Weight distribution is a concern – try to evenly distribute the weight in the pack and also to compartmentalize as much as you can.
  • Remember, no more than 10 – 15% of the child’s weight in the backpack…that’s the maximum!
  • Carrying it on both shoulders and not just hanging over one side.  That kind of uneven distribution is a problem just waiting to happen. Wear it properly, and that means over BOTH shoulders.
  • Get backpacks with wider, padded shoulder straps as well as back padding.
  • Pack heavier things at the base, and pack flatter things toward the spine.
  • ** The backpack should NOT be bigger than the child’s back.  Although this seems obvious, the bigger the pack, the more stuff gets put in it – increasing the chance of overloading and injury.
  • Laptops are rarely over 3 lbs. and are replacing some books and assignments, but not all. If multiple assignments are computer based it will make it easier to carry one laptop as opposed to 3 textbooks.
  • Whenever possible, have an extra set of books in the classroom and another set at home if it’s allowed (this also gives the student NO excuse for leaving a book at school!! ….Shhhhh!!)

Proper positioning, weight and distribution will cause less pain and discomfort.

Something else to implement with kids carrying a backpack doesn’t have to do with the pack directly, but with exercising the extensor muscles of the back as well as the muscles in between the shoulder blades.  Backpacks promote a forward lean in both standing and walking phases and this tends to force the student to round their shoulders and assume a mild ‘walking slouch’, in order to keep their weight in-between their feet. So implementing rowing exercises and prone arm-leg raises can help keep your child from years worth of horrible posture.

Something else to consider is having different backpacks for different uses… keep the sports gear in a different pack in their locker until needed, and not have to carry it around. Remember, structure fits function here…if the pack fits, wear it – but don’t overdo it and do it RIGHT!!!

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Vendors Wanted for Plumtrees School Flea Market and Craft Fair

Vendors Wanted for Plumtrees School Flea Market and Craft Fair

From the Plumtrees School Association–

The Plumtrees School Association will hold a Flea Market and Craft Fair on Saturday, September 15, 2012, 10:00am to 4:30pm          (Rain date September 16th) on the grounds of the Plumtrees School. Applications for Vendors are now being accepted. Spaces cost $35. Proceeds from the event will go to the continued renovation and preservation of the School.  For more information call Don Taylor at 203-748-0667 or dont@aesalarm.com

The Plumtrees School was built in 1867 as a one room school house for the Plumtrees District of Bethel. The school served the community from 1867 through 1970. At its closing it was the last operating one room school house in America. The Plumtrees School now serves the community as an educational museum.

The Plumtrees School Association was created to preserve the School House and property in its original form, circa 1860.  The Association is composed of a 9 member board of directors and is a non-profit corporation registered with the state of Connecticut.  The Town of Bethel has granted an Historic Easement to the association which charges the association with overseeing the preservation of the school building, contents and grounds.  For additional information about the school please visit www.plumtreesschoolassociation.com.

Local Red Cross Volunteers Deploy As Isaac Heads Toward Florida

Local Red Cross Volunteers Deploy As Isaac Heads Toward Florida

Red Cross Readies Operations in Florida; Storm A Reminder To Prepare

FARMINGTON, Conn., Friday, August 24, 2012 — As Isaac moves closer to the U.S. mainland, preparations continue in Florida and other Gulf states. In the last two days, eight Connecticut Red Cross volunteers have deployed to Florida.

Five volunteers from Connecticut were deployed Thursday and departed early today. They are:

  • Glenn Kaminsky from Sherman, who will serve as a Shelter Supervisor in Tampa
  • Lindsay Kaminsky from Sherman, who will serve as a Shelter Service Associate in Tampa
  • Frank and Jane Lionelli from Stonington, who will serve as Shelter Service Associates in Tampa
  • Stephanie Johnson from Middletown, who will serve as a Health Services Supervisor in Tampa

Today, three more personnel were deployed:

  • Ester Cabral, from Meriden, who will serve as a Shelter Service Associate in Tampa
  • Pat Scharr, from New Milford, who will serve in an administrative capacity in the Tampa operation
  • Joe Apicelli, from Groton, who will serve as a Shelter Supervisor in Tampa

American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman said 108 Emergency Response Vehicles have been placed on alert nationwide to support the 22 already in Florida. “Additional resources such as relief supplies are on their way as the American Red Cross continues to prepare with our partners in the community.”

Shipman said that residents in affected areas are being urged to prepare for the storm, but noted that this is an excellent opportunity for people here to check their own readiness. “As we watch people in Florida prepare, it’s a great time to compare our preparedness to theirs. Make sure you have the supplies and information you need to weather a major storm.” Shipman said the Red Cross has comprehensive preparedness resources at www.redcross.org/prepare.

Also available, Shipman said, is a Hurricane readiness app for smartphones. “It puts great information, communication and tracking tools at your fingertips.” The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People across the country planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

HOW TO HELP If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org. 

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Local Red Cross Volunteers Deploy As Isaac Heads Toward Florida

Local Red Cross Volunteers Deploy As Isaac Heads Toward Florida

Red Cross Readies Operations in Florida; Storm A Reminder To Prepare

 

FARMINGTON, Conn., Thursday, August 23, 2012 — Tropical Storm Isaac could make landfall in Florida in the next few days and the American Red Cross is getting ready to respond if needed.

 

The Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.

 

Among the Red Cross workers ready to deploy are five Connecticut residents who will depart on Friday for Florida, said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “Five local volunteers are headed south to help with shelter and health services operations. We think we may see more deployments in coming days, depending on Isaac’s path, but our first team is ready to help with work that is underway.”

 

The five volunteers from Connecticut are:

  • Glenn Kaminsky from Sherman, who will serve as a Shelter Supervisor in Tampa
  • Lindsay Kaminsky from Sherman, who will serve as a Shelter Service Associate in Tampa
  • Frank and Jane Lionelli from Stonington, who will serve as Shelter Service Associates in Tampa
  • Stephanie Johnson from Middletown, who will serve as a Health Services Supervisor in Tampa

 

“While we prepare to help in Florida, this is a great opportunity for people here in Connecticut to check their own readiness for potential hurricanes this year,” Shipman said.

 

RED CROSS HURRICANE APP One step people should take now, Shipman said, is to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices, which puts real time information on hurricane safety at someone’s fingertips. The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People across the country planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

 

Shipman said that preparedness information for hurricanes and other disasters is available at www.redcross.org/prepare. “We have the information and resources you need to keep your home, workplace and community safe.”

 

MEANWHILE IN HAITI, Red Cross workers from all over the world are closely coordinating preparedness efforts and plans to respond as Isaac approaches Hispaniola. Logistical support and cholera contingency plans have been activated for the north and northeast regions of Haiti, including positioning of relief and cholera prevention supplies. The Red Cross is supporting and equipping 55 community readiness committees in camps in Port au Prince with additional first aid supplies, having worked with these committees on an ongoing basis to identify evacuation routes and alternate safe spaces. The Haitian government is in charge of evacuation shelters in Haiti. The Red Cross works with the community to help them get ready for disasters and will respond to any needs Isaac creates.

HOW TO HELP If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

 

New Racks Provide Bike Security in Bethel

NEW RACKS PROVIDE BIKE SECURITY IN BETHEL
From the office of the First Selectman–
Bethel bicycle riders will have safe new bike racks to use when conducting town business and while visiting the train station, library and town parks, thanks to a federal grant obtained by the town.
Installation of new bike racks is under way at the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center, Bethel High School, Bethel Middle School, Bethel Public Library, Metro North Train Station and Meckauer and Parloa Parks.  The cost of the new bike racks is covered by a $6,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Pictured:  Workers prepare to set new bike rack in a concrete pad at the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center.

Beep Beep! Here’s Bethel Bus Schedules 2012-2013

Beep Beep! Here’s Bethel Bus Schedules 2012-2013

BERRY/ROCKWELL – BUS # 1

Start on Plumtrees Road@ Walnut Hill Road; right on Taylor Road; left on Linda Lane, right on Pell Mell Drive; left on Linda Lane; right on Taylor Rd; right on Plumtrees Road; right on Old Hawleyville Road; left on Dodgingtown Road; left on Shelley Road; turn around in Limekiln; right on Dodgingtown Road.

STOPS:

1) 46 Plumtrees Rd 2) Plumtrees Rd @ Terry Dr 3) 2 Linda Ln 4) 16 Pell Mell Dr 5) 30 Pell Mell Dr 6) 36/34 Linda Ln 7) 25 Linda Ln 8) 7 Linda Ln 9) 76 Old Hawleyville Rd

10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21)

Old Hawleyville Rd @ Vining Rd Old Hawleyville Rd@ Old Town Ln 23 Old Hawleyville Rd 104 Dodgingtown Rd 106 Dodgingtown Rd 19 Shelley Rd Shelley Rd @ Limekiln Ct Shelley Rd @ Racebrook Dr 87/85 Dodgingtown Rd 79 Dodgingtown Rd 41 Dodgingtown Rd Dodgingtown Rd @ Honey Hollow RdSTART 8:10A.M.

BERRY/ROCKWELL – BUS # 2

Start on Taylor Road at Plumtrees Road; cross Dodgingtown Road to Wolfpits Road; right on Buckboard Ridge Road; turn around Carriage Drive; right on Wolfpits Road; bear left on Sunset Hill Road; turn around at Williams Road; left on Jacob’s Lane; Right on Putnam Park Road.

STOPS:

1) 53 Taylor Rd 2) 44/43 Taylor Rd 3) 31 Taylor Rd 4) Taylor Rd.@ Old Lantern 5) 2 Taylor Rd 6) 3/6 Wolfpits Rd 7) 17 Wolfpits Rd 8) Wolfpits Rd@ Buckboard Ridge 9) Buckboard Ridge @Wagon Rd

10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19)

20) 21) 22) 23) 24)

30 Wolfpits Rd 32 Wolfpits Rd 40 Wolfpits Rd Sunset Hill Rd@ Aunt Patty’s Lane West 28 Sunset Hill Rd

Sunset Hill Rd @ Van Campen Rd 60 Sunset Hill Rd 71 Sunset Hill Rd 27 Jacob’s Lane

10 Jacob”s Lane 2 Jacob’s Lane 79 Putnam Park Rd 61 Putnam Park Rd 33 Putnam Park Rd 31 Putnam Park Rd

START 8:10A.M.

BERRY/ROCKWELL – BUS # 3

Start on Milwaukee Ave @ Judd Ave; at stop sign go straight; staying on Milwaukee Ave; left on Oxford Street; cross Greenwood to Topstone Drive; at stop sign take left staying on Topstone Drive; turn around cul-de-sac; return to Greenwood Ave; left on Greenwood Ave; left on Chestnut Street; follow to Chestnut Ridge Road; right on Daniska Drive; turn around cul-de-sac; right on Chestnut Ridge Road; left on 2nd Dittmar Road; right on Chestnut Ridge Road; follow to Chestnut Street; at light cross Greenwood Ave. to Chestnut; bear right on Maple Ave..

STOPS:

1) 84 Milwaukee Ave. 2) 64 Milwaukee Ave 3) 8 Oxford Street 4) Oxford Street@ Greenwood Ave 5) Greenwood Ave. @ Topstone Drive 6) Topstone@ Waterhorse Brook Dr 7) 11 Topstone Dr

8) Greenwood Ave@ Prospect Street 9) 73 Greenwood Ave. 10) 55 Chestnut Street 11) 75 Chestnut Street

12) 71 Chestnut Street 13) 204 Chestnut Street 14) Chestnut Condos. 15) 125 Chestnut Ridge 16) 12 Daniska Drive 17) 32 Dittmar Road

18) 9 Dittmar Road 19) 174/171 Chestnut Ridge Road 20) 114 Chestnut Ridge Road 21) 106 Chestnut Ridge Road 22) 54 Chestnut Street 23) 10 Chestnut Street 24) Maple Ave. @ Old Milwaukee Ave. 25) 91 Maple Ave.

START 8:15A.M.

BERRY/ROCKWELL – BUS # 4

Start Plumtrees Rd; left on Rockwell Rd; right on Rita Dr; left on Karen Dr; turn around cul-de-sac; return to Rockwell Rd; left on Walnut Hill; right on Benedict; left on Quaker Ridge; right on Partridge; turn around @ cul-de-sac and return to right on Quaker Ridge; left on Far Horizons; right on Walnut Hill Rd; follow it left down the hill; left on Hoyt Rd; right on Rockwell Road

STOPS:

1) 19 Karen Drive 2) 92 Walnut Hill Rd 3) 3/6 Quaker Ridge Road 4) 14 Quaker Ridge Road 5) 35 Quarter Ridge Road 6) 7 Partridge Road 7) 21 Partridge Drive 8) 14 Partridge Drive (P.M. Only) 9) Quaker Ridge @ Partridge Dr 10) 27 Quaker Ridge Road 11) 35 Quaker Ridge Road 12) 5 Far Horizons 13) 80 Walnut Hill Rd 14) 76/67 Walnut Hill Rd 15) 60/55 Walnut Hill Rd 16) 3 Hoyt Road 17) 12 Hoyt Road 18) 27 Hoyt Road 19) 61 Plumtrees Rd

BERRY/ROCKWELL – BUS # 5 Start on Greenwood Ave.; left on Grassy Plain Street; left on South Street.

STOPS: 1) Y Children’s Center