How to choose a backpack that won't hurt your child’s back

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Pens and pencils? Check. Notebooks? Check. The only thing left on your school supply list is the bag to carry all the items required to set your child up for success this year. Choosing a backpack takes much more consideration than simply picking the one with your child’s favourite design or cartoon character.

According to the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists, parents are encouraged to pay special attention to the construction and material used when selecting a backpack. Not only are our children packing all those school supplies you stocked up on, “but when they get to school, they are getting textbooks. The amount of stuff you put in the backpack, in addition to the amount of stuff the school is going to give to your child, means a lot of weight.”

Kidshealth.org says parents should consider the following tips into consideration when choosing a school bag for their child:

Choose a lightweight bag. Leather bags are very sophisticated, but they weigh more than canvas backpacks.

Choose a bag with wide, padded shoulder straps. Straps that are too narrow can dig into your child’s shoulders.

Look for a padded bag. This is not only more comfortable, but your child won’t get poked by sharp objects like pencils or rulers and notebooks inside their bag.

Choose a bag with a waist belt. This will help to distribute the weight more evenly across your child’s body. The Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists stresses that this bag needs to be worn correctly and shouldn’t be suspended from one shoulder or carried in the hand.

A bag with multiple compartments. This will help distribute the weight throughout your child’s bag.

In closing, a backpack is a necessary accessory for the whole school year, it has to be fashionable for the child — and functional. It’s important to not have any necessary school items cause issues with your child’s body.

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