It is very common for students to carry heavy backpacks to school and this eventually causes back pain and related issues to some.
Many cases are reported where students complain of fatigue, discomfort and even injury over the period as a result of carrying overweight bags to school.
Considering the importance of the situation, parents, teachers as well as school authorities are supposed to take some serious measures to prevent this.
However, a student is supposed to carry necessary books, stationary and food to school every day which is unavoidable. Avoiding a heavy backpack or making it light as possible is always a tricky situation.
Here are a few tips that can be considered by parents and students to solve the problem to an extent.
1. Choose the Back Material wisely: It is always advised to get a backpack of lightweight but with durable quality. Of course, materials like leather is really good in quality but it can add weight to the bag. So it is good to weigh the bag alone before you buy it to make sure that the bag alone itself is not causing unwanted weight.
2. Get the Smallest Size possible: When it comes to school bags, always give importance to convenience and comfort rather than attractive designs. Just have a look into what you needed to carry to school every day and choose a bag that fits the purpose.
When you give importance to other factors like color, design, and attraction, you might actually end up buying a bigger bag than you actually want. So the objective should be to get a bag of the smallest possible size.
3. Go for Bags with Compartments: Instead of going for bags with just 1 compartment, it is always good to choose a bag with multiple compartments. And it is very important to organize the bag in such a way that you use all the compartments wisely.
Some students might fill up some compartments while leaving others empty which might affect the comfort when you carry it. So distributing the stuff almost equally to every compartment can serve the purpose.
4. Prefer to Take a separate Lunch Bag: Instead of carrying the lunch along with books and other stuff in your backpack, it is a good idea to buy a separate lunch bag. It is recommended to use a lunch bag which can be carried by hands which lessen the burden on the shoulders.
5. Use Case with handle for Separate Instruments: Some students might carry extra items to school like instruments if they have a music class or racket/bat if they have a sports session. In such cases, parents can buy them a separate case with handles which can be easily carried by hands. Parents may also buy them an additionally used instrument for cheaper rates if affordable so that they can keep that permanently at home or school.
6. Go for Online Resources If Permitted: In this digital age, the importance of carrying heavy textbooks to school every day is not recommended. It is a wise option to go for online resources instead of textbooks. However, some schools are strict about using textbooks and in which case kids have no option but to carry it.
7. Bring Half-Emptied Bottles of Water: It often gets unnoticed about the weight of water bottles students carry every day. However, it is unavoidable as drinking water is an essential element for a kid’s day at school.
However, it is a good idea to carry only half emptied water bottles in your backpack. The water in it can be used if you feel thirsty on the way to school. The students can then fill the bottle from water filters which are available in most of the schools. Similarly, half empty the bottles on the way back home.
8. Make Use of School Lockers If Any: Some of the schools provide paid or unpaid locker facilities for students. They can wisely use it by keeping the heavy books or stationary there instead of carrying it. However, make sure that you don’t need it when you go home or make sure that you have a spare one at home.
9. Use Scan Copies instead of Heavy Textbooks If Allowed: The heavy textbooks are one of the main items that add up to the backpack weight. It is a good idea to carry the scanned copies of the necessary textbooks in bags and keep the texts at home. However, make sure that your school permits it and you are not acting against any policies.
10. Clean the Backpack Often: Parents should make sure that kids have a habit of cleaning the backpack at least once in a week. This will help to see if any unwanted stuff is dumped unknowingly under the actual stuff inside the bag. Or else students will eventually carry this unwanted stuff every day to and from school only to add to the weight.
11. Take only the necessary items: See that kids carry only the books and stationery that is actually necessary. Make a list of the items that your school wants you to carry in your bag and keep that only. Keep the stuff to a minimum instead of carrying two umbrellas, two workbooks or unwanted stationery.
12. Get bags with wide and padded shoulder straps: When parents choose bags for your kids, see that you go for bags with wide and padded straps. And it is very important for kids to wear both the shoulder straps every time. Some kids have the habit of wearing only one side straps which causes extra weight to one shoulder resulting in pain.
They may also end up losing balance as their body leans to one side causing falls. Wearing both the straps distributes the weight almost evenly thus adding to the comfort.
13. Go for a Back pack with a Waist Strap: It would be a Good option to select backpacks with waist strap in addition to the shoulder straps. This, in fact, keeps the content of the bag closer to the child’s body which helps to keep up a proper balance. This also helps them to maintain a good posture and the weight of the bag can never cause a hindrance to their comfort.
14. Keep an Alternate Set of Stationeries If Possible: Stationeries are another set of items that add up to the backpack weight. Parents can buy kids an alternate set of stationeries if affordable. This helps them to keep a set at school and another at home. You may also use an old set of stationery from your elder sibling or cousin for this arrangement.
15. Carry Only What You Need for the Day: Students have to see that they carry only what is necessary for the particular day. Some students will unnecessarily carry the textbooks that are not covered for particular day’s timetable. To make this practical, students have to develop a habit of packing the bags by looking at timetable on previous day night itself. If they arrange the bag during mornings, they might be in a hurry and might end up carrying unwanted stuff.
16. Organize the Backpacks Creatively: Organizing the backpacks can be done creatively so that they can lighten the final weight. Mainly, the textbooks and other heavy items have to be packed in the bag in such a way that it is closest to the student’s spine. Make use of all the bag compartments and zipped pouches on sides so that the weight of the bag is evenly distributed.
17. Complete the Everyday Assignments at Home: Parents should make sure that kids follow the habit of completing the homework assignments from home itself. Sometimes kids may plan to do the homework at school before the morning bell or during the breaks on the day of submission.
So they may end up carrying a heavy textbook just for reference when completing the assignment. So doing home works at home can avoid unnecessary weight.
18. You may even consider a Rolling backpack: We normally see a trend of students carrying backpacks to school every day. However, if your kid is suffering from back pain or related issues due to heavy backpacks, considering rolling backpacks are always an option.
Going through these tips might help you to understand that problems with the backpack are caused most of the times due to unawareness or careless handling of bags. Try applying these strategies while your kids carry backpacks to school and know the difference. Carrying heavy backpacks can not only cause spasms and back pain but also neck and shoulder pain and posture issues in the long run. So consider these strategies seriously and apply it whenever possible.
School authorities can also do their part by making arrangements for lockers to help students to avoid carrying stuff to school every day. They may also arrange campaigns on school campuses to make kids aware of the seriousness of such routines and its impact in their lives. Even though it seems not very practical from a distant glance, a group effort from parents, students, teachers, and school authorities can surely solve the situation.
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