Yes, it’s that time of the year, back to school and the last minute running around getting all your children’s school things ready! Of course, on top of the list is choosing your child’s school bag, but how important is it, to choose the right school bag? As parents, we worry on how much weight kids should be carrying to school, which sparks and reignites the same debate every Back to School season.
Research has shown that school bags without proper back support has caused children to experience back and neck problems, a problem we all don’t want to see in our precious children. The strain caused to their joints from carrying books, lunch boxes, stationary and PE clothing has caused a rise in children experiencing back and neck pains. The British Chiropractic Association has some valuable information on back and neck problem preventions.
Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association has some advice:
“We recommend a backpack over other styles of bags as it allows the weight of the bag’s contents to be distributed evenly across both shoulders so the spine is not pulled out of line.“
Not only is buying the correct school bag for your child really important but ensuring they are using it correctly is just as important.
School Bag Buying Tips
- Choose the correct size – Buying a backpack that is too big will not even out the weight properly on your child’s back, it will sag and make carrying even more strainful to their joints. Here are some links to different sized backpacks to give you an idea, 13 years plus, 9 – 12 years, 5 – 8 years and 2 – 4 years. Are the straps wide and padded? This will help with comfort and support. Herschel is a great brand that design their bags to add support and comfort.
- Look for good back support – Not only is having good support important but also making sure your child is wearing it correctly. Make sure they are using both straps on each shoulder, not using both on one shoulder and it’s adjusted to fit. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons stated that it is much better for parents to ease the carried load on their children, they said parents should pick a backpack with an appropriate size for the kid with padded shoulder and waist straps for more comfort.
- Go for a separate lunch bag – It’s hard not to make their school bags heavy with everything they need to carry. Why not try having a lunch bag they can carry in their hands? Not only will you be free of cramming everything into their backpack, but you will put less strain on their poor little backs. As suggested by the award-winning ISIS Chiropractic Clinic in the UK a child should not be carrying more than 10% of their own weight. So If your child weighs 30KG they should not be carrying more than 3kg.
- Shoes, shoes, shoes! – Yes, good quality shoes are equally as important as good quality bags for proper back support. Having proper shoe support will help with their back posture. Clarks, the school shoe experts have been around for decades and that’s because they make great supportive shoes. An old favourite and can be found right here.
- Trolley bags are a great option – Younger children can always use the trolley bags as that would greatly reduce any joint strains. Make sure it’s a bag with good quality wheels to make it as smooth as possible making it less strainful and give added comfort. Benbat has designed big sturdy rubber wheels, with a lightweight hard cover bag making pulling a breeze!
- Planner help a lot! – Life can get busy and the truth is, mumz have a lot to remember! Take some time to make sure you empty what isn’t needed inside their backpacks, or try getting your child into a weekly routine of cleaning out their own bags. Weekly planners are always a great reminder for children to stay on track. Rachel Ellen Designs have a great planner that is nice and colourful with stickers for encouragement, that will surely help!
Take some time to choose a good quality bag that will not only last but will provide your child with the support needed to ensure a healthy back and spine. With many options to choose from, with great cool designs like the cool hooded Morrikukko that don’t compromise in quality and design, you can rest assure your child will be comfortable, safe and happy!