Monday, September 04, 2006

School bags

One of the great difficulties of being an immigrant parent is that you simply have no idea what schools are like. There are things that you don't even think to ask because, well, you just assume that it has to be the same as you experienced it.

It wasn't that long ago that I found out that my children's schools do NOT have water fountains. Kids bring water if they don't want to be parched during the school day. I knew they brought water, but I had thought that was a convenience thing, not a necessity. No water fountains or any means of getting a drink of water? Odd.

This week's Sunday Times has the results of a survey on the weight of school bags. The survey found that
on average, they were carrying the equivalent of 16% of their body weight. International guidelines recommend no more than 10%. More than one in three students (36%) were carrying in excess of 20% of their body weight on their back, or, worse, on one shoulder.
This is nuts, but I don't even understand why it happens. I can't remember what I did during school, but I know I never carried that much weight in my school bag. And, of course, those bottles of water add to the weight on the back.

Is it any wonder that kids are driven to school. If they weren't, they'd need mules to accompany them on the walk.