This blog is going to address carrying a heavy schoolbag, but really the information can be carried to carrying a heavy bag in general.
Carrying a heavy schoolbag can lead to many issues in children, specifically when it comes to the musculoskeletal system. If your child tends to wear her schoolbag to one side, then the bag is putting too much pressure on one side of the body causing a tilting of the spine.
Any outside weight added to the body causes our balance to change. This means that our bodies will automatically make corrections to our posture, so we do not end up falling over. These corrections may seem to be beneficial for remaining standing, but they are not beneficial for our musculoskeletal system.
Down the center of the back is the spine. The spine consists of vertebrae, or bones stacked on top of each other; it’s here where muscles and ligaments attach to cause movement. The spine also has disks in between each bone that help provide cushioning. A heavy schoolbag puts stress on the spine and all of the bone, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even disks!
Imagine how a heavy schoolbag can put children at risk while their bones, muscle, ligaments, and bodies are still developing.
It is beneficial to ask your child if they are having any shoulder, neck, or back pain. Ask your child if they feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in their hands.
In the long term, the child could end up with a “hump back” also known as kyphosis.
Here is what you should look out for while buying a schoolbag.
- Buy a sturdy, bag with wide, padded shoulder straps. This will help reduce pressure on the neck and shoulder area.
- Buy a bag with adjustable straps which can be altered as the child grows.
- Check your child’s posture after she has put the bag on. If you notice your child leaning forward or slouching, check if the bag is too heavy or if it has been packed incorrectly.
- Make sure your child is only carrying the items they need for school that day – remove any unnecessary books and equipment.