The exam season is done with and the city’s children are all set to enjoy their summer break in peace. No early morning alarms, uniforms and heavy school bags to burden the young children…
Yet, in a few months from now, the kids will trudge back to school, laden with bags that weigh far more than what is safe for them. Heavy school bags are an evil that just doesn’t get weeded out from our education system.
Pune has seen a rise in the school bag related injurious that children are experiencing and the figures are apparently rising month over month.
Pune365 discussed this with experts and parents to be able to find solutions to this age-old problem that children are forced to grapple with…
Experts have suggested that heavy bags can cause many long term and irreversible medical conditions.
“We see 3-4 parents in a week who come with their kids complaining of neck, back or shoulder pains and injuries and the number of cases being increased in the past years.
A child should ideally carry only 1/10th of weight according to his body mass,” says Dr Sachin Tapasvi, (Leading Orthopaedic Surgeon And Sports Injury Specialist)
Students often complain because their body is not physically prepared to handle such kind of weight. The skeleton develops entirely only by the age of 14 in the case of females and by 15 in the case of males. The cartilages are not strong enough and the muscles are not entirely developed which can further damage the entire body structure.
Abnormal posture and weak buttocks and core can lead to spinal deformities over the years, which can further lead to physical problems in the long run.
Also fancy one sided backpacks or slings can damage the shoulders, causing muscles to pull and add to tensile forces since the weight is not evenly distributed. This is again very harmful.
“The ideal thing should be to teach ‘Suryanamaskar’ to the kids and make them do it regularly to strengthen their core muscles, straighten their posture and reduce back and neck aches.
Explaining her concern, Manju Gaikwad, an artist says, “As a mother I do believe that the weight of the bag that my 12-year-old son carries to the school can affect his shoulders and body in the long run.
School does not allow bag weight above 4kg but as a mother I think the weight is still high. The school authorities should have lockers in school and parents should be allowed once a month to access those to check books and class work etc. Homework books can be sent home which reduces half of the weight plus the condition of books also remain intact.
Also, we had one text book and work book per subject. Kids now-a-days have four text books for languages and mathematics which are more than 200 pages that makes it heavier as English and Maths are daily subjects, “she adds.
“As the students moves to higher standards, the number of books, reference book, workbooks, note books, guides, rough books keep on increasing,” says a city-based tuition teacher.
These kids are so exhausted after school that they cannot concentrate on other things which is not good for the overall development of the child. At such tender ages they complain of back or shoulder aches. Moreover, regular homework and projects make them more lethargic to even concentrate on the extracurricular activities that they like or even go out to play,” she adds.
The state’s school bag policy says they should not be exceed 10% of the child’s weight but very few schools in the city strictly adhere to the guidelines.
“School bags are checked in the school and even weighed sometimes to check for the load the kids carry. But more than that they should look at regulating the curriculum and rescheduling the regular timetable to ensure that the kids carry less burden.
Additionally, the parents should also look into the child’s bag as to what they carry. Sometimes they carry multiple tiffin boxes to snack on before going to tuitions after school or have heavy bottles or tuition notebooks as well.
These things just add to the load the child carries,” shares Manmeet Anand, a home maker.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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