The weight that school children must carry in their school bags can reach astounding levels.
With all the necessary things to pack into their school bags, it is increasingly important that parents know how to pack a school bag to lighten the load on their child’s back.
While they may not be able to lessen the actual weight on your child’s shoulders, packing a bag correctly – or incorrectly – has a huge effect on whether that weight feels like 10 kg or 2 kg.
A child’s bag should not weigh more than 10% of their total body weight. Ideally, it should weigh less. A child carrying 5 kg when they only weigh 35 kg is far too much – their bag should be only 2-3 kg in weight.
To keep the stress on the child’s body to a minimum, knowing how to pack a school bag correctly is vital. You should always aim to pack your child’s bag in accordance with the following points.
- Place the heaviest items in the back compartment (closest to the child’s back) and toward the bottom. This will keep your child’s centre of balance over their feet – which is natural – and ensure they don’t have to bend forward in order to keep this centre of balance where it normally would be, and in turn causing undue strain.
- Ensure the items inside the bag cannot fall or move around while the child is carrying the bag. When items are left loose to move around the bag, the child’s centre of balance can change suddenly when they aren’t ready, possibly causing strain or even injury.
- Use the compartments to distribute the weight evenly. Avoid putting everything in one compartment just because it may all fit there – it is best to space it out among the compartments. This also avoids bulging in one section that may dig into the child’s back. The lightest items should be in the outer-most compartment.
- Regularly clean out and re-pack the bag. Any extra items in the bag are adding to the weight unnecessarily. Try to clean out the bag every day, or at least a couple of times a week, to ensure that these extra items are not a pointless burden.
- Pack the bag symmetrically. Put items that weigh similar amounts in opposite sides of the bag. This will help to maintain balance and ensure there is not more strain on one side of your child’s body than the other.
Another way to lessen the weight your child needs to carry is to see if they can leave some things at school each day. If any materials aren’t needed for homework that night, have them left at school. If you are still concerned, talk to the teacher and see what can be done.
Children carry a huge weight on their shoulders when it comes to school – and not just a physical weight – so parents should be trying to lessen that load as much as possible, wherever possible. Knowing how to pack a school bag correctly will make all the difference to your child’s burden.