Diocese launches hurricane appeal
October 5, 2017
Serenity in San Fernando
October 5, 2017

Burdensome bookbags and backs

The issue of heavy school bags is not new. At the TUCO/Sunshine Snacks National Junior Calypso Monarch 2007 a then ten-year-old Teneisha Weeks took home the title with her calypso ‘School Bag Dilemma’. Source: trinisoca.com

It’s an everyday reality seeing schoolchildren buckling from the weight of school bags too heavy for their body frames. While many trudge to and from school bearing the burden, several research studies state that continued use can result in a number of health problems including back pain, nerve damage, the unnatural compression of the spine and irreversible back deformities.

Writer KAELANNE JORDAN sought the opinion of Rupert Indar, Consultant Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon on whether heavy and improperly used schoolbags are the culprit of back-related injuries, what exactly can happen to a child’s body from all that extra weight on their backs and what parents/guardians can do about it.

  1. While studies have linked heavy school bagsto back problems, are heavy school bagsreally injuring children’s backs? 

Yes, children do suffer with lower back pain, but this could be as a result of growth and sometimes growth spurts. As a result, muscles are not keeping up proportionately with their strength to support this growth. Children who have abnormalities or developmental problems in the spine will present later on, but this may be coincidental when they carry heavy book bags.

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