Schools have opened in June and students have started going to school carrying their heavy backpacks. Many parents do not bother about the backpack their children carry to school. Very few parents sometimes lift their children’s bag while going to school. Have you noticed how heavy it is? See how it affects health of the children.
Heavy backpacks are one of the most distressing and unpleasant aspects of school life for many children. The heavy weight of books make school going drudgery and irksome. This goes contrary to the current trend, which insists that the learning process should be fun. Heavy bags cause stress on the spine, back and shoulders, resulting in muscular pain, fatigue and strain. The excessive weight in bags may cause a child to develop poor posture or slouch excessively.
When a heavy weight, such as a backpack filled with books, is placed incorrectly on the shoulders, the weight’s force can pull a child backward. To compensate, a child may bend forward at the hips or arch the back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally. The heavy weight might cause some kids to develop shoulder, neck, and back pain. Kids who wear their backpacks over just one shoulder – as many do, because they think it looks better or just feels easier – may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight. They might develop lowerback pain and upper-back pain and strain their shoulders and neck.
Improper use of backpack by students can also lead to poor posture. Girls and younger kids may be especially at risk for backpack-related injuries because they are smaller and may carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight. Also, backpacks with tight, narrow straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with circulation and nerves. These types of straps can contribute to tingling, numbness, and weakness in the arms and hands.
Kids who carry large packs often are not aware of how much space the packs take up and can hit others with their packs when turning around or
moving through tight spaces, such as the aisles of the school bus. Students are often injured when they trip over large packs or the packs fall on them.
Carrying a heavy pack changes the way kids walk and increases the risk of falling, particularly on stairs or other places where the backpack puts the
student off balance.
(Read the full story from the July Issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)