► Backpacks are a better option than shoulder bags for carrying books to school. Shoulder bags put the weight on one side of the body and this can cause abnormalities in the growing bones.
Select a bag that is lightweight so that it does not contribute much to the overall weight. Designer school bags may look great but the weight factor of the bags is of primary importance.
Choosing the Right School Bag
Ideally the backpack must have two straps that are thick and evenly spaced. Thin straps can dig into the muscles around the shoulders, resulting in reduced blood flow and thus adversely affecting the nerves.
The backpack can have a waist-clip/hip belt, which can help in reducing the space between the child's back and the bag. Increased distance between the two can make the bag sway more; causing the child to lose balance while walking.
Adjust the Height of Your School Bag. Get, Set, Go!
Ideally, the height of the backpack should not extend more than four inches below the child's waistline.
Wheel Your School Bag to School
School bags with wheels can help ease the weight off children's back if they do not need to climb stairs to reach their classes. Trolley school bags with shoulder straps can be useful at such times. The wheels, of course, contribute to the overall weight of the bag.
Avoid Cramming Your Backpack
► Pack only those books that you really need for the day, not just anything that can fit into it.
► Parents can help the child plan for the day and arrange their books in line with the subjects that are to be taken for the day.
Arrange Your School Bag
► Pack the heaviest books closer to the back and the lighter books towards the outside. This can prevent the swaying away of the bag due to the weighing down of books.
► Use all the big and small compartments of the bag to distribute the weight evenly. This may not actually reduce the weight of the bag, but help spread the weight across a broader region thus making it easier to carry.
Get Rid of the Clutter
Eliminate the odd things that may clutter the bag and contribute to the weight of the bag unnecessarily. This clutter may include things like broken pencils, forgotten greeting cards, circulars, flyers and sometimes used craft items. Clean the bags out regularly.
Avoid Hard Bound Books
► Adding extra books will surely add to the weight. The list may be large-sized dictionaries, hardbound storybooks and textbooks that are not required for the day.
► If you must carry storybooks, choose smaller and lighter books.
Stand Upright While Carrying Your School Bag
While carrying the bag, children must stand straight. They must not stoop forward or bend backwards, as both of these practices may cause harm to the growing bones.
► Never carry the bag on one side as there is a possibility of bending of the spine.
Use Soft Bound Books
While binding the books, use soft-binding instead of hard-binding. Also, carry pencil pouches as pencil boxes may add some extra weight to the bag.
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