More than anything, our kids want to appear cool at school in front of their peer group. It doesn’t matter how much good advice we give them, as soon as we are out of sight, they will do as they wish. Didn’t we do the same, and I know some of us suffer the consequences even now. Carrying heavy backpacks full of gadgets and schoolbooks has left a few of us with the odd twinge and bad backs.
It’s clear that backpacks for carrying school books and other school materials can damage the back and cause problems in later life, particularly if they are not used properly, for instance carried trendily over one shoulder rather than across two where the support would be better. We can hammer home the point as often as we like, most kids will not take any notice. But that doesn’t mean we are helpless, there are still things we can do that we might persuade our kids is a good idea.
a) Get the kids to take the least amount of items to school. Try and help them prepare for school by deciding what is needed for the day and leaving the rest at home. This will help keep the bag lighter and so will be less of a strain on the back to carry.
a) Teach the kids to pack the backpack properly. Heavy items should be placed at the bottom and lighter items at the top. This will help with load distribution and therefore be potentially less harmful. Having heavy items below the lighter ones will prevent the back pack from becoming top heavy and pulling on the child’s shoulder.
b) Make sure kids have a good diet with plenty of calcium to help strengthen the bones. These days we do not have to rely solely on dairy as a main source, calcium is added to a number of foodstuffs. Good bones will help provide a strong frame for any carrying the child has to do.
c) Proper exercise, encourage your children to participate in sports both at and after school. This is one area where most kids will be only too happy to conform. Keeping fit and well exercised will strengthen muscle.
d) The least popular but most important job for parents, keep nagging, even though they pretend not to listen some of it does get through, otherwise we wouldn’t be pushing the same message onto our kids. They may not admit it to you, in fact they may make a play of doing the opposite to what you ask, but it does make a difference and they’ll thank you for it later.