How To Pick The Right Backpack For Your Child’s Back

We are approaching what some parents term, “ the most wonderful time of the year”, when the kids go back to school.

With this however is back to school shopping for paper, binders, pencil crayons and the inevitable backpack.

For some, the kindergartners this is their first one, the first time in their life they need to carry something.

For others, the tweens and teens it is fashion, popularity it needs to be this years “it” bag.

In all cases it is a bag to carry stuff to and from and around school and given that they will wear it for 10 months of the year it needs to work, it needs to fit and when you check some of the prices it needs to last.

Some simple rules of thumb, weight for the younger kids the kindergartners, the bag and its contents should not weigh more than 10% of their weight, for the older kids not more than 15%. Weigh the bag from time to time and go through it to edit accumulated junk.

The size of the bag should be proportional to the size of the child’s back, thus a teen’s bag is too big for a first grader.

Bags should have 2 well padded and adjustable straps, no messenger bags, ideally there will be some padding on the back of the bag that is in contact with the body and there are straps to fasten in the front either at the chest or the waist or both, and they should be encouraged to be used. The bag should be worn on both shoulders, and snug enough so that only a hand’s breadth can be slipped between the bag and the child’s back.

The bag should be loaded so that heavier items are closest to the body, and lighter or bulkier items to the front. Some bags have compression straps to tighten the load in the bag to keep it tighter to the body.

Lastly for younger children put the bag over both shoulders for them or have them place the bag on a table so they can put it on without stooping. Older kids remind them that if they want to be able to play their sports or participate in their extra-curricular activities, little things like not using the right muscles to pick up their bag might mean the difference between watching their team and playing with them.

To review:

  1. Pick an appropriate sized bag, made of good materials and have adjustable straps.
  2. Not more than 10-15% of the child’s body weight should be in the bag
  3. Load it properly
  4. Put it on properly

If your children are complaining of back pain after returning to school, drop in to the office I’m sure we can help. Contact us at www.drkevinfinn.ca 905-831-3939, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

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