Carrying a heavy school bag can lead to back problems

Carrying a heavy school bag can lead to back problems

Have you every lifted your child’s school bag and thought, ‘Wow, that’s heavy, I couldn’t carry that!’

My son is 8 and you’d think his bag was filled with bricks it’s so heavy. It therefore came as no surprise to read that carrying school bags and heavy books can cause bad posture which can result in back ache.

Encouraging your child to engage in lots of fun sports and activity will promote strong and healthy bones and muscles needed to support a healthy back.

Feeding them a healthy diet will also help, as carrying excess body fat puts stress and strain on the back, knee and hip joints.

You can also follow the following tips when it comes to choosing a school bag:

 

  • Buy a lightweight backpack style bag with adjustable padded shoulder straps to fit the size of the child’s back. A bag that is too big for the child, or that has not been adjusted to fit correctly will hit against the child’s bottom as they walk.
  • The schoolbag should have a padded back and a waist strap if possible. A waist strap distributes weight and a padded back protects the back.
  • Children should put the heaviest items close to their backs as this means less strain on the spine
  • They should wear the bag on their back with the straps on both shoulders. Carrying over one shoulder causes ‘shoulder shrug’ on the side of carriage and ‘side bending’ to the opposite side
  • Encourage them to think ahead and only carry books and other items they require. If there is a locker available in school, they should make good use of it
  • They should carry books only when they have to – if kids are standing around or waiting for a bus, leave the school bag on the floor while waiting
  • Encourage them to avoid swinging the school bag around and lifting it on the back. Instead, place the bag on a surface and then with your back to the bag, put your arms through the straps. Otherwise get someone else to help.

For more advice visit www.iscp.ie

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