It’s that time of year again – the littles (or not so littles in some cases!) are about to go back to school! It’s the time of year when parents run around trying to get all those back to school supplies and prepare their kids for their return.
One of the biggest and most important purchases is a backpack. Ill fitting backpacks can lead to back and shoulder pain, changes in walking and potential balance issues which could lead to injuries.
Here is a handy guide on what to look for in a backpack!
Things To Consider
As with any purchase, there are lots of things to consider and, unfortunately, sometimes the biggest consideration for many children/families is what the backpack looks like. I know that it can be hard when your child has their heart set on a certain colour, character or style but, for the sake of their bodies, here are a few more things that you should you can consider:
1. Bigger isn’t always better
Especially not for little kiddos!
Little ones should have a smaller backpack that fits well and, if needed, they can carry their lunch bag separately.
2. Weight of the backpack
When I was a kid we had a ton of textbooks and I know that has changed with the growing amount of technology in classrooms – however, there is still lots of stuff that needs to go into a backpack!
The golden rule is that the backpack should weigh no more than 10-12% of the child’s weight.
3. Ease of use for your child
Can your child put on and take off their backpack independently? Can they easily carry it?
Practice if you need to!
This is a great opportunity to promote independence in younger children. Have your child carry/wear their own backpack, whether getting on the bus or walking to school, right from the first day of school.
How To Choose The Right Backpack
Fit, fit and fit!
Only after finding a backpack that fits consider the internal features.
A good fitting backpack:
- Should fit snuggly against the back
- Have wide padded straps that can be adjusted for length
- The bottom of the bag should be no more than 3-4 inches below the waist line (true waist NOT hips)
- Has two straps!
- If your child is older and carrying heavier loads, the backpack should have a clavicle strap and hip straps to help distribute the weight
Internal features should include different compartments, which help distribute the load – and stay organized!
Arrange the heaviest items closest to the back to help minimize the stress of their weight.
A water bottle pocket on the outside is always a good idea as well.
Hopefully this post helps guide you towards a great backpack for your child – happy shopping!!!