Children carrying heavy load may suffer low intelligence, deformities, say experts

By Samuel Ogunsona

Children with the usual practices of carrying heavy loads on their heads as part of their daily activities risk deformity,experts have warned.

The experts said the practices especially in developing countries can affect children growth.

The children may also suffer neck and back pain, poor posture, and even decreased intelligence.

The experts further emphasized that some of the negative signs include muscle tension in the neck or upper back and shoulders, the child respiratory system, misalignment of the spine.

In an exclusive report by Punch obtained by Irohinodua, parents are warned to stop the practice

A Consultant Paediatrician at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, Dr. Ayo Adetoye, said children who carry heavy loads can suffer deformities.

He added, “These can include neck and back pain, as well as deformities of the spine.

“In summary, the dangers of children carrying heavy loads on their heads are clear. Not only can it cause pain and deformities, but it can also lead to headaches, decreased intelligence, and other health problems.

“The practice is particularly common in rural areas, where children are often the ones who have to carry water from wells and rivers. But despite the risks, this dangerous practice continues, and efforts are needed to change it.

“We must take action to protect children from the dangers of carrying heavy loads.

“It is unacceptable to put their health at risk in this way.”

”The effects of children carrying heavy loads are not just physical. They can also have psychological effects.

“Children may feel stressed and overwhelmed by the responsibility of carrying such a burden, and this can lead to emotional problems

“In some cases, the psychological effects of carrying heavy loads can be severe. Children may feel anxious and stressed, and may have trouble sleeping.

“They may also have difficulty concentrating in school, and their performance may suffer.” He said.

Akande, who is a former National Chairman, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, revealed that carrying heavy loads on the head frequently will cause musculoskeletal pain and may even affect the neck bones.

He added, “It is believed that heavy load on the head of children can affect physical development.

The practice is more common among poor people who also suffer from physical development as a result of malnutrition

“Parents are advised to avoid making their children carry heavy as this can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.”

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