After the summer holidays, school starts again in September. With the beginning of school, all first graders also get to choose their first schoolbag. But sometimes even the youngest children already carry heavy loads on their backs, with serious consequences for children’s sensitive backs! The bags are often filled with books that are not necessary for the lessons.
First signs of overload
Health experts advise that the weight of the schoolbag should not exceed 10% of the child’s body weight. Assuming your child weighs 20 kilos, this would mean that the satchel should not weigh more than two kilos. Also pay attention to your child’s posture: is your child standing up straight when carrying the schoolbag? Does the upper body lean forward or backward unnaturally due to excessive loads? Can your child put the schoolbag on by itself without any effort?
The first postural deformities in children can not only be attributed to the overflowing and heavy schoolbags, but also to a non-ergonomic sitting posture in everyday school life, as well as a lack of exercise and sometimes being overweight.
What should you pay attention to when buying a schoolbag?
The child’s spine is still in the middle of the development stage. Overloading can lead to postural deformities and back pain. To avoid this, the following criteria must be considered when buying the satchel:
- When empty, the weight of the schoolbag should be no more than one kilo.
- The straps should be wide enough, infinitely adjustable and padded. This makes it easier to distribute the weight. Long straps promote the formation of a hollow back, the bag hanging too low, thus contributing to long-term damage of posture.
- The width of the straps should be at least four centimetres, the handle at least eight centimetres.
- The maximum weight of the schoolbag depends on the size and weight of the child, but should not exceed 10% of the child’s weight.
- The bag should be padded towards the back, fit closely and generally have a stable shape.
What should you pay attention to when packing the schoolbag?
It is best to pack the schoolbag with your child the evening before. This way you have enough time and avoid stressful situations in the early morning. Make sure that you only pack those books that are really needed the next day. The best way to store heavy books is near the back. In general, make sure that the weight is well distributed.
Tips for a healthy child’s back
Sitting too long and in the wrong position leads to back pain and malposition, as does too little exercise, overflowing satchels and wrong sleep bases. These effects can be prevented with simple measures and exercises.
- Children should exercise at least two hours a day – preferably outside in the fresh air.
- Romping around the playground, cycling, playing ball, etc. not only promote agility, but also their coordination.
- Make sure that desk and chair always fit the child’s height. Ergonomic sitting is a crucial criterion to prevent back pain.
- A slightly slanting table top encourages a straight sitting position.
- When sitting, your child’s feet should be able to be placed firmly on the floor. Knees and hips form a 90 ° angle. If your child cannot reach the floor completely, a footrest can help.
- If your child is already suffering from back pain, sitting on an exercise ball is also an option. The back muscles are then well trained and strengthened.
What else can parents pay attention to?
As a parent, you are always a role model for your child. Health experts therefore advise you to do as many tasks as possible on foot. It is also advisable to pay attention to an orthopaedic effect when equipping the bed, so that children can recover well after an active day. When lying down, your child’s spine should not be strained, but relieved. Intervertebral discs and the spine need the opportunity to relax and regenerate sufficiently during the night. Also make sure that the pillow height is suitable for the child. A pillow that is too high or too flat can promote neck tension. You can find suitable children’s pillows in selected specialist shops. Please pay attention to natural materials.