I am considering to buy a on-wheels sort of bag. I have to carry 4-5 bags almost everyday to school (backpack, bag for gym clothes, lunchbox, purse and some days, computer bag!) so I am having pain in my back those days.
Overweight backpacks are a hazard and I have the medical bills to prove it: my son required physical therapy for his subluxed (partially dislocated) shoulder during high school. They weren't allowed to use the ones with wheels - "tripping hazard" in the halls during passing periods.
I realize there is not a good solution for some people, but everyone should be aware that the risks are very real. Be careful out there! If you do have to carry heavy backpacks, make sure you keep your shoulders strong to avoid rotator cuff problems.
This is my daughter's first year of using a backpack, and we sure wish we could lighten it! College textbooks aren't all that light, and her average load is 5 textbooks + a notebook or two. She uses a wheelchair to get around, and for the first time we've begun to use the tip bars so she doesn't flip over due to the extra weight.
Keeping the weight down sound great -- but sometimes it's just not possible.
Like others have said - it's all fine and dandy to WANT to keep the weight of the pack at 15% of the child's weight, but there's not a school or teacher I've run into who is paying attention to how much the books they insist be carried home for homework weigh. When I was in school, there was science, history, literature, Spanish, and Geometry - all with big books (literature with two - one the classic we were studying) - all determined to assign daily homework that required use of the books.
Maybe someday e-readers will have gotten to the point where a child can carry a single reading in their pack with each necessary text book downloaded. (Considering the replacement cost of the books versus the cost of e-readers, I'm surprised it isn't happening already.)
I think these tips are great but I agree with some of the people before me. I am an accounting major and this coming up semester I have 4 books that are all 3 inches thick or more. I can't just not take them to class.
It's good to try to fix these problems, but for a lot of students also almost useless. When I was in high school, my backpack weighed about 25 pounds, being only the books I had to take home for my homework. I mean, I had 7 classes a day! I could totally lighten my backpack, but then I'd be missing homework.
In law school, it was insane. A typical day I'd need to carry three or four MASSIVE textbooks. My backpack was full plus I'd usually have another in my hands. I had to carry a bag for my laptop as well. And then I had to add a purse/bag, because you have to have money, lunch and sometimes dinner, feminine supplies, etc. I'm sure most days I was lugging over 50 pounds, sometimes much more.
Bottom line, safety precautions are great, but nothing will change as long as students' lifestyles must be the way they are.
3/17/2011 1:18:09 AM
I feel that schools should have books in the classroom as well as the student should have the same text book at home they get at the beginning of the year and return at the end of the year. So they are not having to lug the books to school too. Only the notebooks go back and forth.
9/13/2010 2:31:33 PM
Yeah... my college provides computers to every student, and as such, most profs make us bring them to class for activities and such. Meaning i"m lugging that around along with books. (Thankfully i don't need many of those though!) But I put my backpack on the front seat of my car. It has a sensor in it, that starts to beep if you have past a certain amount of weight in the seat, thinking it's a child or something. I can't remember the number, but it's more than 20 lbs. Sad day.
Most of this was not a problem til they took all the lockers out of the schools. My daughter was a GATE student and her backpack was so heavy in 9th grade that she started to get rashes up and down her legs within the first 4 - 6 weeks of high school. Turned out she had RA in her right ankle and this just made it worse. Because at this point she was considered disabled the school had to keep a copy of every book she needed in her classrooms and she had to keep a separate copy of those books at home. Still she had 5 notebooks in her backpack everyday along with her lunch. I have to wonder how many kids had this problem but the parents didn't have health insurance to get it checked out or if they did, that their child had rights that the school district had to inforce to protect them.
Funny, saw this link thought it was about my own backpacking! One of the Techs at my job, is in nursing school, I happened to pick up her bag and almost could NOT. AND she carries it over her shoulder...what is her future?! MERCY. MY BAG, is not quite as heavy, BUT it IS on WHEELS, and THAT is the BEST WAY TO GO!!!!
10/19/2009 2:13:19 PM
I've been out of school for a long time, but often use backpacks for day trips. I'll keep your wonderful tips in mind. According to the calculation provided, I shouldn't be carrying more than 17 pounds. I'm sure I've gone over that.
I am an american living in Spain...most of the kids, big and small, use the backpacks that also have wheels that you can use like a trolley. Is wonderful, easy and is reversible. They come in all different sizes. Use it as a trolley when you have alot, use it as a backpack when you don't...and the come in all colors, styles, etc....
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