Medical experts have cautioned parents against heavy schoolbags on children, saying that heavy loads may cause spinal cord injury.
Some of the medical practitioners said on Monday in Abuja that parents should avoid packing too many books and other items in children’s schoolbags as most of the bags are carried on the back.
Dr. Ewot Ndaeyo, the acting Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Healthcare Board, said that the weight of children must be considered by parents before packaging any loads in their backpack.
He said that primary school pupils who should be between 15 and 25kg were seen in some cases carrying 25kg backpack, noting that “this is not fair, there is need to balance the weight.
“So, my advice is that parents should not overload children’s schoolbags; the launch pack gives easy way of carriage, the schoolbag and launch pack balances the child whenever he or she is walking.”
He added that the lunch pack and water should be enough for the children in order not to cause injury to the spinal cord.
Dr. Jimoh Abubakar, the Director of Public Affairs, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), also warned parents to guide against spinal cord problems for the children.
According to Abubakar, some people see the loading of children’s schoolbags as a status symbol, noting that such habit affects the child’s spinal cord.
He said, “the children of the elite are more culpable; the elite see it as a status symbol where they buy costly bags with loads of books, you are indirectly overburdening the children.”
The director urged schools both public and private to emulate western countries where children’s books were kept on the shelves instead of making children be carrying them to and from school daily.
According to him, children’s books are only released to them when they are going on vacation, as they do not carry educational materials to school every day.
He advised that both breakfast and lunch should be paid along with school fees to make school authorities responsible for daily meals of pupils and students while in school.