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Is your child's backpack too heavy?

Going to school often means carrying school books, lunch boxes, stationery and PE kits on a daily basis which collectively can result in a very heavy school bag.

Sometimes the weight of the contents in the school bag cannot be altered. However, the type of bag used to carry these items can be altered. It has long been known that rucksacks or backpacks are the best type of bag to use because they distribute weight more equally and symmetrically over the body. With a single strap bag, we often lean to one side and hitch the shoulder up. This kind of stress on a child’s body can lead to neck, shoulder and back pain.

Recent evidence suggests some recommendation to prevent postural imbalances leading to aches and pain in teenagers and children.

· A backpack should be carried over both shoulders for even weight distribution.

· It should have wide s· A backpack with a waist belt provides better support.

· A backpack with a waist belt provides better support.

· A child should not be carrying more than 10% of their own body weight. For example, a child of 40kg should not carry more than 4kg in their bag

. Straps; narrow straps can interfere with nerves and circulation.

. Appropriate footwear is also important to consider. Soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip will make it easier for children to carry a school bag.


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