Now a days, it has become a trend for schools to burden their pupils with heavy school bags and make an impression that they are doing something very good for their educational growth and development. But unfortunately, the schools don’t take into consideration the spinal ailments the heavy schools bags cause the children, by disturbing their normal spinal alignment. Heavy school bags are `deforming` children as growing number of children suffer irreversible back problems. I spotted a school boy in my street, who was struggling to carry his heavy school bag and was literally dragging it.I have seen growing number of children developing irreversible back deformities because of the weight of the bags they carry to school. Half of all children suffer from back pain by the age of 14 and there is rise in cases of spinal abnormalities in children ,including disfiguring curvatures known as scoliosis.
Overloaded school bags that are almost double the size of the children who carry it and makes them suffer from back problems.Children routinely carry bags with heavy books,laptops, sports kit and packed lunches; weighing as much as two stone. When children continue with this routine and carry more than 10 percent of their body weight over their shoulders, they risk long-term and ultimately permanent damage of their back. Back problems are becoming an increasing issue among schoolchildren and schools no longer have adequate desk space for pupils to store heavy books.We need to have an urgent overview of this issue, and parents are being urged to keep an eye on children`s backpacks so that they do not cause problems for their health when they are older.I totally believe that Parents should insist that their children pack their bags only with what they need for the next day and ensure that they are worn on both shoulders.
Being a Physiotherapist , I would recommend that the weight of school bag “shouldn`t be more than 10 percent of their body weight and the heavy items should be placed close to back,and the backpack should be worn correctly with both shoulders straps and the chest strap,and a pelvic strap if it is fitted.It shouldn`t be hanging off one shoulder.”