Lighten the Load: How heavy is your child’s backpack?


Have you noticed your child bending forward while carrying his backpack, struggling to put it on, or complaining about tingling or numbness? If you doubt that the extra heavy weight in his backpack has ill-effects then your instincts are correct.

The harm caused by heavy backpacks is severe and cause back pain, shoulder pain, and poor posture. Well, the era of digital textbooks is not yet there and till then we can consider certain things to avoid any serious injuries to the children. Here are a few things about backpacks that you must keep in mind as a parent.

1. Look for an appropriate backpack

You need to find a backpack that has pads in the back, on the shoulders and in the region under the belt, so the pressure is taken away and it becomes comfortable.

Additionally, hips and chest belts help shift the load from back and shoulders to hips and torso.

If the bag has several compartments then the distribution of items in less concentrated causing the overall weight to distribute equally.

If your child goes to the school before the sun rises then it should also have a reflector.

2. Familiarize with Weight guidelines

There’s a rule that a fully packed backpack should not weigh anything more than 15 % of the child’s body weight. For example if a kid’s weight is 50 pounds then the bag should be only 8 pounds or less in weight.

Your child can reduce the burden by taking books that are highly required in a day. If a book is particularly heavy then buy two copies of it one that stays in the house and the other in the school. In this way the need of transport of the book is negated.

Also Read: Know About ADHD

3. Carefully load the backpack

There’s a way to stuff the bag –try to put the heaviest book near to the back. In this way, if there are big textbooks then the bag does not hang too far from back which could result in posture problems.

4. Carry it properly

The major problems are caused by changes in posture –like the kid bending towards one side or forward. You should make sure that your child is wearing both the belts of the bag. There are times when in order to look cool child hang the bag only on one strap. But if both straps are tightened then the bag sits better against a student’s upper back.

Younger students should be governed by the parents –over tightening the straps may cause harm. Many cases have been observed in which numbness or tingling in the arms is seen.

Read also: 504 Education Plan

5. Stay vigilant about problem signs

Always observe the changes in body posture of your child. For instance, suppose your child has a great body posture but when he wears the bag then it seems like he is about to walk up Mount Everest with a week’s worth of supplies, then there’s seriously a problem.

Changes in posture are often accompanied by pain and thus often student complaint about neck pain, back pain and sometimes even headaches.

These are all the tips, you should carry your child’s bag time to time and let your kids know –you have got their back.


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