A kid’s backpack is the place where a lot of school materials are kept. Books, pens, textbooks, assignments, uniforms and even sport materials are some of children’s backpack paraphernalia.
There is almost nothing in regards to school that wouldn’t be found in the backpack of kids. It makes it easier for them to transport what they need for school from home to school.
Because kids put almost everything in their backpacks, they tend to carry too much weight in it. Research has it that kids should not carry more than 10-15% of their body weight. That is, if for example a child weighs 70lbs, the entire weight of the backpack should be within the range of 7-10.5lbs. Sadly, not everybody pays attention to this.
Due to the bulkiness from homeworks and the different extracurricular activities in school ranging from sports to the involvement in clubs, the items in the backpack increase drastically. These items are essential to the proper running of the kid’s academic experience.
Carrying heavy backpacks can cause a lot of problems in the long run. It has been observed that heavy backpacks are the number 1 reason for neck pains, back pains and shoulder pains among adolescents. Due to the weight they carry, their body’s nervous system begins to respond with pain because it is just too much.
Kids need to regulate the amount of things they put in their backpacks. Both parents and teachers have to be very conscious of the amount of weight that kids carry in order to avoid the effects of carrying heavy backpacks. Keeping your child’s spine healthy is an utmost priority.
Effects Of Carrying Heavy Backpacks
- Ruined Body Posture
Kids who carry heavy backpacks have high tendencies of ruining their body posture. They begin to lean forward unconsciously even when they are not carrying backpacks.
Going around their school day with heavy backpacks can lead to strains for kids. Their upper and lower back, their neck and their shoulders begin to take the brunt of the weight.
- Misaligned Spine
The spine is one of the most pivotal areas in the human body especially in regards to posture. Heavy backpacks can lead to the misalignment of the spine which in the long run affects the entire nervous system. It could also lead to scoliosis when the spine begins to curve as a result of the compression of heavy weights continuously being placed on it.
Kids sometimes can carry as much as 30-40% of their body weight and this can lead to a general weakness in their entire body, but mostly weakness in the arms and hands. This generally affects a kid’s productivity both in and out of school.
- Falling Over
Children with heavy backpacks have very high chances of falling over because of the imbalance between the weight they are carrying and their overall body weight. Apart from this, having heavy backpacks lying around carelessly can easily cause another to trip and fall. This causes injuries among kids.
10 Backpacks Safety Tips For Kids
- Lesser is Healthier
The lesser materials and books that you stuff into your backpack, the better for your health. Kids should reduce the amount of things that they put in their bags by prioritizing properly in order to have a healthy spine.
- Get Rolling Backpacks
In order to avoid the effects of heavy backpacks on the back, parents could get backpacks with wheels that they can roll on the floor. By getting rolling backpacks, they have been able to transfer the weight that was supposed to be weighing on their backs to just what they roll with their hands.
- Follow a TimeTable
Kids should follow the timetables that they have for particular days. They should use these timetables to separate the books that they actually need each day from those that they do not necessarily need to carry. With the guidance of parents and teachers, they can help reduce the weight that kids carry. Keep your child’s spine healthy.
- Use Your Lockers
Lockers were created to be used. For schools that provide lockers, kids could easily transfer books into them in order to distribute the weight in their backpacks. When they use the lockers for what they are actually meant for, they take a huge step to having a healthier spine.
- Wear On Both Shoulders
As a result of trying to look cool or personal preferences, kids tend to wear their backpacks only on one shoulder. Wearing it on one shoulder would make the weight lean towards one side and cause for an uneven distribution of weight. Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders even if kids may prefer otherwise.
- Buy The Right Backpack
It has been generally advised for kids to get the right backpacks. Bags that have the right padding and different compartments should be bought so that kids can easily wear them without strains and put their books in them.
- Adjust Your Backpack Properly
Sometimes kids wear their backpacks way too low with too much weight in it. The backpack is supposed to be no higher than your torso and no lower than 4 inches below your waist. Backpacks should be adjusted to sit properly on one’s back and not on the waist.
- Use The Abdominal Strap
This strap is one of the most underused features in a backpack. However, this strap is very important because it helps the backpack to sit properly on the back without tilting toward one side or the other. This strap makes the backpack balanced.
- Use a Scale
This is probably the weirdest of all the tips because one can start to wonder why one should have to use a scale at all just because of backpack weights. However, determining the actual weight of a backpack is something that goes beyond mere eye measurement. A scale would help for more accuracy in determining the weight of the backpack.
- Be Organized
Organization is something that every individual needs in life. Learning it early as a kid from something as little as a backpack is a good start. Kids, with the help of their parents, need to learn how to properly arrange items into the backpack so it won’t weigh more on one side than the other. The bigger items should go into the bigger compartments of the bag while the lighter should go in the smaller compartments.