Gujarat government’s recent decision to cap the weight of school bags by 10% of its total weight has caused a storm in the state. It has left parents and teachers with a serious question of whether the children must be subject to such premature heavy lifting and must school do away with it for good?
The debate has been long in conversations of many. We have witnessed school-going children, be it any standard student, walking with a hunch due to the schoolbags’ excessive weight. This happens because the child, to balance the weight of the bag, leans forward. Thus, the child develops a hunch.
Lifting a disproportionately large amount of weights for a prolonged period leads to certain serious spine issues, in this case, in children. The child becomes vulnerable to several spine injuries. Children may develop acute back and neck pains in the short-run and may feel uncomfortable sitting or walk straight.
In the long-run, these kinds of habits turn fatal. Since the spine is a bridge between the brain and the body, any damage caused to the spine can directly hurt the nervous system. This may lead to dysfunction in communication due to the damage caused to the nerves.
The immediate solution to this problem would be to reduce the weight on the back significantly. Children every day carry a tremendous load on their back in the face of a school bag. Thus, though the decision is in the direction of growth, it will be interesting to see how schools achieve it. While the government and the school have a larger role to play, the parents shall contribute to this walk against change.
It is essential to teach the child to have an organized lifestyle. He/she must carry books of prime importance and help with making a schedule. Having a time table reduces a great deal of weight. One must always make sure that the child lifts his/her bag with both shoulders, and the weight must be distributed equally.
Keeping these points in mind would significantly help the children and not deteriorate their spine further. Timely consultation by an expert spine surgeon can curb the effects early and give your child a painless and healthy school-going experience.
Being a center for spine and pain management, our spine hospital welcomes the government’s decision wholeheartedly. Our spine specialists come across many cases where children face back pain issues because of the unnecessary burden on their backs. IndoSpine, one of the best spine surgery hospitals in India, is already doing its part by educating visiting parents about the consequence of such heavy school bags.