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Heavy School Backpacks and Back Pain in Children



CHIANG RAI – According to an article in Thai PBS, Thailand’s School children are prone to suffer chronic back pain as textbooks on their backpacks are too heavy for them to carry.

The story which is most likley based on a Spanish Study of over 1,400 schoolchildren. It found that over half the children had backpacks exceeding 10% of their body weight. Carrying heavy backpack daily poses high risk to suffer bone health problem, and even chronic back pain.

Parents should select backpack with wheels for their children

Parents should select backpack with wheels for their children

It said heavy backpack could cause the structure of the backbone to deform unusually which will not only  bring physical pain to the back, but also lower learning capability and destroy  learning concentration of children.

It cited recent study of school backpacks by a research centre for children safety at four primary schools in Bangkok which revealed that average weight of school backpack carried by students is six kilogrammes from an average weight of a student at 30 kilograms.

Such weight carried by school children is in excess of the standard weight to carry which allows no more than 10% of the children’s weight, or no more than 3 kilograms.

Children carrying too much weight on their backs are prone to sufferinng bone health problems, and even chronic back pain as the back bone structure could deform.

It then advised that parents select backpack with wheels for their children and the carrying  weight should not over 20% of their children’s weight.

In case of necessity, backpack should have shoulder strap of over 6 centimetres wide so as to allow the whole shoulder to absorb the weight.

It also advised that backpacks should not be carried  on the back lower than the waist, and that children must walk with their back straight and not incline forwardly.

If this could be practised, the risk to suffer back pain could be eased or eradicated, it said.

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