Is your child’s school bag almost as heavy as him/ her? Do you often worry about the load your child carries on his shoulders every day to school?
Carrying heavy school bags day after day is one of the most distressing experiences for a school going child. The school bag is filled with textbooks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and other stationery required almost every day. Added to this, are the tiffin boxes and water bottles. Long school hours and early morning school often require the child to carry two separate lunchboxes too.
There are several consequences of overburdening their tiny shoulders, back and neck at a young age. Carrying heavy backpacks can lead to muscular and skeletal problems, especially if the child carries the bag on one shoulder, or maintains bad posture while carrying the bag. This could also lead to the stunted growth of bones among children. The pain and physical discomfort resulting from carrying a heavy school bag can also result in stress and lack of attentiveness in a child, affecting their learning in the precious formative years.
A school bag should always be light and apt. Here are a few ways to maintain a light school bag for your child:
1. Carry only what is essential. Teach your children to follow the timetable and carry only those books required for the day as per the class schedule. Clear the bag every alternate day to remove any excess worksheets, notices, stationery or other miscellaneous items that are not required.
2. Leave some books at School. A lot of schools these days have classrooms with storage facilities for students to keep books and accessories. This is a very thoughtful step being taken by schools, as it prevents children from lugging around every-day essentials. Bring it up with your child’s school if they don’t already have this option.
3. Swear by Light Weight. Be it the school bag, compass boxes or lunch boxes that are carried in it, always make sure you pick up good quality lightweight accessories. Metal compass boxes, for example, are always heavier than their plastic counterparts. Likewise, there are multiple options for lightweight lunchboxes in the market these days.
4. Choose an Ergonomic Bag. While buying a school bag for your child, prioritize ergonomics overlooks. A bag with a broad, firm base, which narrows as it goes upwards and has broad, padded shoulder straps evenly distributes weight on the shoulders and back while carrying it. Also, it is good for a bag to have compartments, but too many pockets can make the bag too bulky and cumbersome to carry.
5. Posture while carrying the bag. If your child is leaning forward and his/ her shoulder are rounded while carrying the bag, that indicates the bag is either too heavy or has been packed incorrectly. Ensure you avoid this and encourage your little one to keep the spine straight and shoulders squared while carrying the school bag.
6. Put the bag down. Teach your kids to put the bag down whenever they can, like while waiting at the bus stop, travelling by school bus, etc.
7. Pack smartly. Train your kids to pack their bag wisely, with heavier books at the bottom and lighter books and accessories on top. Use zip pouches instead of heavy bulky tiffins to carry dry snacks, and always clear clutter.
Make sure you take care of small details like these in your child’s life to make schooling a joyous and enriching experience for them.