One of the most important things your kids will bring to school, besides lunch and a smile, are their backpacks. As homework load increases, the actual weight of their workload can take it's toll in the form of constant back, neck and shoulder strain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that backpacks should weight between 10 and 20 per cent of the child's body weight.
According to Kidshealth.org, backpacks are better than satchels or messenger backs - as long as kids wear both shoulder straps and distribute the weight evenly within their bags. When buying a new backpack, it's important to find the right fit. The bottom of the pack should rest near the top of the pelvis, while the top should sit about 2–5 cm below the tops of their shoulders.
Measure For Size
- Stand behind your child and place your finger at the base of their neck, between their shoulders - you should feel a bone there.
- With your other hand, draw a line from side of their hipbone to the center
- Measure the distance between your two fingers
Pick Your Pack
- Look for lightweight materials
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Hip and chest straps that help to distribute the weight evenly
- Padded back and straps for a more comfortable carry
- Thick, strong zippers
- Extra stitching in high stress areas (shoulder straps, main compartments)