Heavy School Bags for Children: Are They bad? Experts Advice

Lighter, more ergonomic, and more expensive: the first satchel quickly costs several hundred euros. After all, parents do not want their child to arch their backs. They instead feel happy to do the best for their kids at any cost.

German pediatric orthopedist Professor Robert Rödl is excited by the trend towards cost-intensive, particularly ergonomic backpacks. He thinks that backpacks are getting more and more expensive. He is confident that the whole story behind the so-called ”ergonomic bags” is a money-making trick practiced by the manufacturers.

Walk to School is Usually Short

Rödl doesn’t want to be misunderstood either. He affirms that he has nothing to say against light satchels and bags that are particularly well adapted to the child. Robert is of the opinion that the distance to school is almost always so short that any type of bag is just fine to carry.

If the distance to school is longer for your particular child, you may ensure the bag is lighter and comfortable so that your child doesn’t find it irritating. Other than that, there is no relationship between a child’s health, growth, and development to a bag.

But to claim that you need a super ergonomic backpack for ten minutes to get to school because otherwise, your spine would bend? That is nonsense. Likewise, it is nonsense to generally claim that heavy bags cause back problems. says Rödl.

As the expert emphasizes that even the mere thinking of a bag harming your child is harmful.

Do Not Blame a Bag for Any Back Problems

Rödl works as chief physician for pediatric orthopedics at Münster University Hospital. In his day-to-day work, the physician instead has to deal with children who either do not walk or carry no load.

Rödl thinks lack of adequate movement leads to a lack of muscle mass that ultimately supports the spine.

If you want to reshape the spine, you have to put on a tailor-made corset, which puts pressure on the back 23 hours a day. Just so you can get an idea of ​​the forces it takes to make it permanent To achieve deformation, says Rödl.

A Simple Trick to See if The Bag is Too Heavy

Do you think your child’s school bag is too bulky to carry? Here are two simple tricks the physician recommends to ensure the weight is not too much for the kid:

  1. The straps are not too extended that the bag hangs down on the hips or legs.
  2. If the child is able to pick up the bag from the floor and put it on, then it is not too heavy. Once this is ensured, you as a parent, no further worries.

Especially since you can hardly find any heavy in a kids’ store anyway, the question of whether it weighs 0.8 or 1.6 kilograms when empty is seldom relevant.

As long as the child doesn’t have an hour’s walk to school or doesn’t want to use the bag for hiking trips, there is no need to have such discussions, says Rödl.

Don’t Let The ‘Healthy Bag’ Theory Take Over

The expert expressly has nothing against ergonomic and cost-intensive school bags. What annoys him, however, is that many parents can’t afford a widely advertised bag. And because such a bag is not going to be any different than any other, much cheaper bag when it comes to the child’s health, parents don’t need to stress out from advertisements and other parents’ advice.

Like all parents, they ultimately want the best for the child. And that’s why in the end they sometimes have to bear financial pain. You can buy whatever school bag the child likes. Even if it is not the lightest and most ergonomic.

Useful Tips to Choose the Correct Fit

Note that we are talking about the correct fit, not the so-called ‘ideal bag’ or ‘healthy bag’. Just follow the following simple tips to make your purchase:

  1. As with all backpacks, the same applies to the school bag. the closer the weight is to the back, the better. Books are stowed in the satchel close to the back and the straps are adjusted so that the satchel hugs the back.
  2. And you pack more upwards than downwards. For example, it is better to fix the sports bag on top than hang it on the bottom. “The lower I have the weight, the stronger the leverage that pulls backward. That sucks,” explains the pediatric orthopedist Professor Robert Rödl.
  3. The spine can cope with axial forces much better than bending forces, which is why people sometimes carry heavy things on their heads over long distances. A lap belt on the bag also helps distribute the weight. Wide shoulder straps ensure a comfortable fit.

And that’s all. Parents don’t need to worry about what type of school bag their kid carries. No bag is going to impact the child’s backbone or overall health.

Share this useful expert advice with other parents so that they don’t fall for the advertisements and spend a fortune on something that doesn’t do anything different.


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