The increasing weight of young students’ schoolbags is an issue that needs to be addressed by the Minister for Education, according to independent Cllr Richie Molloy.
He is calling for the minister to issue guidelines on the maximum weight a child should be expected to carry in a normal school bag.
Raising it at this month’s meeting of Clonmel Borough Council, Cllr Molloy, a father of two young children, said that currently a lot of children are carrying bags in excess of eight kilogrammes, which he believes could lead to problems later in life.
“Most health and safety guidelines say that you cannot carry more than 10% of your body weight, most bags are averaging 8kg,” he said.
“Maybe we could encourage schools to allow books to be left in schools, and if bags are too heavy it would discourage children from cycling to school,” he said.
The last time this issue was looked at was in 1997 when the Government commissioned a working group to look at the issue but nothing has been done since, according to Cllr Molloy. Cllr Billy Shoer said that many parents had raised the issue with him too and Cllr Ambrose wanted secondary school children to be included in any review of bag weights.