School backpacks have been a hot topic in China recently. Some Chinese parents buy school backpacks from Japan, although they can be as expensive as 5000 yuan, reports Chinese newspaper Urban Express.
A good backpack is important for children’s health. “It can relieve(缓解) pressure from the spine and shoulders,” says Dr Rob Danoff from the US. He also says students need a backpack that’s made for the child’s size. Cushioned(加垫的) backs and shoulder straps(带子) will help them avoid pain. Another choice is a small roller bag, but some schools do not allow them because they may knock people over.
However, the biggest problem for school backpacks is that they are too heavy, noted Hou Weiguang, a bone doctor from No. 363 Hospital in Chengdu. In China, students have many textbooks and exercise books. The weight makes many kids suffer from side-banding(侧弯的) spines, said Hou. He suggests a backpack should be no more than 15 percent of a child’s body weight to avoid pain or injury. That means if a student weighs 50 kg, the backpack should be less than 7.5 kg.
Parents need to make sure their kids only carry what they need. Schools and governments need to help too, added Zheng Yongshun, an education official from Hong Kong.