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Heavy School Bags

Do you find it really difficult to lift up your child’s school bag? Can you imagine how difficult it is for him? You are not alone to worry; parents, doctors, and educationists from all over the world are worried about the weight that children have to carry, and the effects it has on their backs, shoulders, and general health.

An average school day consists of 8 periods of different subjects, and each one requires from the child to carry a book and several notebooks. And with the additional kilograms your child carries, such as lunchboxes, water bottles, and sports equipments, he ends up carrying huge burdens on his back. Specialists say that a backpack’s weight should be less than 10% of the student’s body weight, but with all the stuff our kids are carrying, reaching this sounds impossible!

What are the problems caused by heavy bags?

  • Carrying a heavy bag on the back causes forward leaning and bad posture which can lead to improper weight bearing on the spine and pains in the back and shoulders.

  • Children who carry heavy bags have been found to have poorer lung function, because forward bending at the back makes breathing harder.

  • Carrying the school bag using one strap puts all the weight on one shoulder causing sideways deviation of the spine (scoliosis). This can cause long lasting back aches and damage.

How can I help my child to avoid these problems?

  • Investigate if students can store books at school and carry home only those needed for homework.

  • Regularly clean out your child’s school bag, for he might be storing unneeded items.

  • Talk to the school’s director about providing lockers for the students so that they can leave certain books, notebooks, sports equipments and other things at school.

  • Teach your child to put down the bag when he waits for the bus or when he’s in the assembly, etc.

  • Purchasing for your child a bag with wheels can be an option in case your child doesn’t have to climb stairs, because lifting this kind of bags up stairs is heavier than lifting a normal bag.

It is true that we can’t reduce educational standards or deprive our children of their sports and other activities, but it is crucial to collaborate with the teachers and school managers in order to reduce as much as possible the problems caused by heavy bags.

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