Schools, forced to reduce the weight of schoolbags. “Not to exceed 10% of the child's weight”

School principals will be forced to find solutions for students to stop carrying so many books, if an order from the Ministry of Health comes into force.

Rules to reduce the weight behind children – Photo Archive

School managements will be forced to take measures to reduce the weight of schoolbags, the Ministry of Health proposes.

As solutions, the institution proposes individual lockers where students can keep their textbooks and notebooks, spaces for doing homework after classes or “health education regarding the correct choice and wearing of the backpack“.

It is also recommended to use the backpack with wide straps, worn on both shoulders, for balanced weight distribution. The Order of the Ministry of Health provides that “the weight of the contents of the schoolbag in all educational cycles must not exceed 10% of the child's weight”.

This proposal also appears in the Student Statute project, supported by several student associations, reports Edupedu.

What to do

Physiotherapist Mădălina Semen, who works in the Pediatric Neurology section of the Psychiatric Hospital “Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia”, explained for “truth” which type of backpack is best for our little ones.

It is the version of a troller, which is pulled on wheels. Right now, I think it's the most useful, because I don't know how quickly the rules will come into effect and how quickly the schools will adapt. To make cupboards in schools, to leave textbooks, these would be the best solutions. Most children wear backpacks with wide straps, but they go too far back, or they go into hyperlordosis, or they go too far forward, they sit hunched over, it's no longer scoliosis, it's kyphosis, because they have to carry that weight, no matter how wide it would be the braces. And we as adults, if we put our backpack behind us, the same thing happens”explained the physiotherapist.

No matter how much muscle you have, the backpack is heavy, much heavier than it used to be.“, adds Mădălina Semen.

Thus, more and more students end up having problems with the spine: scoliosis or kyphosis, and the weight carried day by day on the back also influences growth.

For her part, Ioana Grigore, teacher and deputy director of a school near Bucharest, believes that the best solution is individual lockers for students.

We have individual lockers at school and it's much better. This way the children leave all the materials they don't need at home at school and only take the books and notebooks they have to solve the homework“, it shows.

The teacher also warns that there are many parents who do not control their children's schoolbags, and they end up carrying all kinds of extra things.

We find textbooks in the schoolbag that the children don't use every day, auxiliaries, finished notebooks that they still carry. The schoolbag is done weekly, parents don't check anymore and you find slips on top of discarded slips, croissants, milk cartons, etc. I tell the students to make their own schoolbag according to the schedule, but then the parent should check that it contains everything they need and remove what is not necessary“, emphasizes Ioana Grigore.

Physiotherapist Mădălina Semen also tells us what the little ones should do to avoid back problems:To maintain a correct body position when standing, with toes facing forward, knees forward, legs parallel especially, and spine as straight as possible, chest forward. He must maintain a correct posture both in state, at the office, and when carrying the schoolbag. Sports class should clearly be done with stretching exercises, ball games, catching, throwing, spinning. To include both individual exercises, which go on extension with the hands, with the stick, as well as group exercises, with the ball, these group exercises seem very important to me. That they play volleyball, that they play handball, that they throw the ball from one another, adapted according to the age of the child. Playing with the ball helps a lot, it also develops coordination and teamwork. The ball can be heavier, the ball lighter, which also teaches them to catch and manage the weight, thus solving the tone problem. On the trellis, possibly holding on to the bars, lying down, hanging, doing trellis exercises“.