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    Indian States Set Backpack Weight Limits to Prevent Spinal Injuries

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    The Indian government set guidelines to ban homework for children in first and second grade in some states after a study revealed that carrying homework and heavy books or backpacks can cause spinal damage.

    In addition, school bag weight guidelines have been set, based on a child's age, to prevent them from injuring their spines. However, it is unclear which states in India have established such guidelines. 

    A survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found that 68 percent of pre-teens are likely to develop mild back pain, which can then progress into chronic pain and hunchback posture.

    In the study, which surveyed more than 2,500 children in major cities, more than 88 percent of children between the ages of seven and 13 were found to be carrying more than 45 percent of their body weight on their backs, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.

    "If they [schools] plan, they can repeat the subjects taught and thus reduce the load. My kids find it difficult to carry so many books," Rashmi Tapke, a mother of two, told Sky News Wednesday, claiming that heavy school bags reflect ineffective time-table planning by education systems. 

    "My frail daughter has to haul about four to five kilograms of books in her school bag and also carry her lunch box and water bottle in a separate bag," Rajinder Shukla, whose child attends school in Uttar Pradesh state, also told Sky News.

    In Maharashtra, a state spanning west-central India, known for its capital Mumbai, the weight of school bags should not exceed 10 percent of a child's body weight, according to the new guidelines. However, it is unclear whether rural parts of India will also enforce similar rules.

    India's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry did not immediately respond to Sputnik's request for comment regarding additional details on their study.


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