Do you remember the time when you used to go to school? What was the one thing that made your trip to and fro extremely exhausting? For me, it was my ‘more than I can carry’ heavy school bag. I’m sure 80% of you will agree that our school bags were too ‘loaded’ to handle.
Now that we are grown up and have kids of our own, we can clearly see how our children are facing the same issue.
Seeing kids struggling under the weight of their book laden bag is a common sight. The poor kids can be seen tilting to one side, limping forward and constantly adjusting their shoulder pads. All of this is happening right under our noses but no one can be seen taking action against it. Why? We need to understand that this constant weight that the children carry has long lasting effects on their bodies especially their spines.
When children carry backpacks that are too heavy for them, they feel a lot of stress on their spine which makes them tilt forward. In order to reduce the stress, the child rolls his/her shoulders upwards causing their upper back to become more rounded. Some children on the other hand have a habbit of wearing their bag on one shoulder which in turn puts pressure on their neck and shoulders. You can clearly see how a child’s spine is at risk of getting injured.
What can we do?
For starters, we should make sure that our children set their bags according to their daily time table and only carry those books that are needed. There is no need to make those poor souls suffer by making them carry their entire syllabus. Parents, you have got to step in and take responsibility of setting up your child’s school bag daily.
The school needs to take responsibility and empathise with the students. Arrange a locker system or shelves in the classrooms where students can keep their books so they don’t have to carry a huge pile daily.
Parents please make sure that your child wears his/her back pack correctly and invest in those bags that are good for their backs. Choose a bag that has wider padded straps so they don’t dig into the shoulders. The shoulder straps should be well adjusted and the heaviest books should be placed against the back and the weight of the books should be distributed evenly.
We can see how heavy school bags can take a toll on your child’s health. If he/she complains of pain in his/ her back, shoulders or neck, please take an appointment with the doctor.