Question: What are the effects on children carrying heavy school bags?
Answer: In this modern age, school children are burdened to carry, variety of heavy objects to the school. The inventory includes large text books and note books, sports kits, heavy stationary and Tiffin box.
- Most of the school going children carries this load in their school bag which is usually a backpack.
- Researchers have found that the weight carried on their back is 30 to 40% of their own weight. This weight may cause longstanding damage to the child’s spine and the skeletal structure.
- Heavy weight on the child’s back can cause compression of the intervertebral discs which acts as a cushion to the vertebra.
- There can be increased curvature of the spine resulting from heavy backpacks in children.
- Backache is common phenomenon in children carrying heavy backpack.
Heavy Backpack Solution and Tips
- To prevent symptoms associated with carrying heavy backpacks certain precaution may be helpful.
- Ensure that the bag is of lighter material so that the extra weight of the bag can be excluded, canvas bags are lighter than leather bags.
- Buy a backpack with a S shaped shoulder straps, this will ergonomically distribute the weight of the bag.
- A well padded bag can absorb the load and the jerks.
- Ensure the size of the bag that is, it should be not longer than the hip bone.
- Educate the child not to carry the backpack on one shoulder, as it may harm the shoulder joint and in long run to the stature of the child.
- Suggest the child to use lockers to store unneeded books, or sports kit.
- Choose a bag which has a hip belt and chest belt.
- Parents should look out for warning signs if the child complains of following:
- If there is a postural change while wearing a backpack
- If the child is uncomfortable while putting on or taking out the backpack from the shoulders.
- Neurological signs such as tingling and numbness in the arms and hands
- Abrasions and bruises on the shoulders.
- Carrying a school bag is unavoidable, however if few precautions are taken children can feel comfortable in carrying the backpacks and learning becomes enjoyable in school.