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Student’s backpack – a matter of great importance

Student's backpack - a matter of great importance
Student's backpack - a matter of great importance

For over a dozen years, the topic of too-heavy backpacks that students carry to school has come back every year. The kilograms that the students carry on their backs have an impact on their health. Therefore, both parents and teachers should make sure that there are a few things as possible in the students’ schoolbags. Student’s backpack – a matter of great importance.

Weight well above the permissible standard

In order for the backpack not to adversely affect the child’s health, its weight should not exceed 10% of the weight of a student in grades 1-3 of primary school and 15% of the weight of a student in older classes. So the backpack of a child who weighs 30 kilograms and is in the early years should not weigh more than 3 kilograms. In many cities, various organizations, and even the parents themselves organize backpack weighing campaigns. Unfortunately, in most cases, it turns out that students carry much more weight than recommended – in some cases, the weight of the backpack reaches up to 7 kilograms, even among the youngest students. And while students entering school are usually the most vulnerable to the harmful effects of carrying a heavy backpack, their satchels tend to weigh the most.

The conducted research showed that students carry an average of 1 kilogram of unnecessary things in their backpacks – among their toys, games, unnecessary textbooks on a given day, and half-eaten lunch. What about the risk of carrying a backpack that is too heavy? Overloading the spine, shoulders, hips, incorrect posture of the student, which may lead to severe curvature of the spine and posture defects. In addition, there is a load on the shoulders, muscle strain, pains in the spine and neck. The younger the child, the more susceptible to overworking caused by wearing too heavy a schoolbag.

Which backpack to choose?

In addition to a fashionable design or a theme with a favorite character of an animated film, it is worth paying attention to other elements of the backpack, in which the child will carry several kilograms of books, notebooks, and school accessories throughout the year (or longer). First of all, the schoolbag should lie close to the child’s back and have a stiffened back part. It is important that it is light – the weight of an empty backpack cannot exceed 1 kilogram and its width is the width of the student’s shoulders.

The school bag should not be too big. The lower part of the backpack should reach as far as possible to the lumbar region of the back – otherwise wearing the backpack may cause a hunchback. The suspenders are equally important – the ideal ones are soft, wide, and adjustable ones so that the backpack is easy to put on and take off, and at the same time to keep it stable. A well-fitted schoolbag should keep the student upright and prevent slouching.

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The way you wear the backpack is also important. It is absolutely unacceptable to carry the backpack on one shoulder or to swap the backpack for a bag. A few years ago, backpacks with a frame and wheels appeared on the market, thanks to which it can be pulled like a suitcase, which seems to be a better solution because it does not burden the student’s spine.

However, this is not the case – pulling the backpack requires a curvature of the upper body, causing the student to assume the wrong posture. A backpack with a frame is also much heavier, so if a student carries it on his back, for example, to move between floors in a school, the effect will be worse than in the case of a backpack without wheels. In addition, driving on a dirty or wet surface and then putting on a backpack will stain the child’s clothing.

How to relieve students?

If you manage to choose the perfect backpack that the student likes, you should also pack it properly. Even the best-fitting backpack weighing a few kilograms above the norm will negatively affect your child’s health. Parents should first of all pay attention to what they pack in their children’s backpacks. It is worth explaining to the student that he does not need to take toys, games, a few pencil cases and other gadgets with him to school, which will not necessarily be needed in class. The backpack should contain only the necessary things, preferably the lightest – instead of hardcover notebooks, choose those in soft and with as few pages as possible.

You can switch from a multi-piece set of writing utensils in a metal package to one well-equipped pencil case. Many schools have lockers where students can store school supplies and textbooks. If there are no special lockers in the school, you can offer to buy some items together, e.g. blocks, crayons, plasticine, paints, etc. – thanks to this, children will not have to bring these items to school and will learn to share and respect common property. If children use textbooks, it can be agreed that there is one book on the bench – this can reduce the content of the backpack by half. Electronic materials are becoming more and more popular and can also significantly relieve students’ backs.

Good backpack and conversation with the child

As it usually happens, the most important thing here is to find the golden mean. When looking for the right backpack, it is worth remembering about the advice on choosing it. Let’s be careful not to overdo it by choosing one with too many theoretically useful gadgets, which, however, will additionally burden the backpack. It’s best to focus on comfort and quality. It is also important to talk with your child about how to properly wear a backpack and what not to put in it so that it does not gain unnecessary kilograms. Because even the best backpack will do nothing if its young owner does not use it properly.