Our Guide to Choosing the Right Backpack for your Little Learners
Your little princess wants the sparkly blue dinosaur bag, while your tiny mister is crying for the red one because it has a pig on it. We get it. We’ve been there.
As parents, we’ve spent too much on backpacks because they look adorable, and there have been instances where we’ve sent them to school with an old carrier bag because their straps broke leaving the house. In other words, sometimes good doesn’t mean quality.
So at what cost does a well-made backpack look like? Do you know what to look for? If you can cut through the noise with our tips below, we’re confident you’ll never have to worry about the dreaded ‘back to school’ panic again.
What’s science got to do with kids’ backpacks?
A recent study posed the question ‘Do schoolbags cause back pain in children and adolescents?’
It seems unlikely, given all they carry is a few books, a pencil case and a lunch box. But let’s explore this concept a little more.
The theory notes whether backpacks pose a risk to the spinal health of our kids. The study took into consideration things like the weight of the bag, the duration of the bag on the back, and the effects it may have on physical attributes such as posture, gait, and spinal damage.
Surprisingly, the study concluded that these factors do play an important part in our child’s chiropractic health, with evidence to support changes in foot health, muscle discomfort, and increased breathing rates after wearing a bag. But there’s something you can do about this as a parent...
So what can I do to prevent this?
It’s important to know that whilst there is some research to suggest incorrect backpack use can cause health problems, more research is pending into the findings.
We’ve gathered some helpful guidelines to support your buying efforts to make sure your little one is comfortable, whilst making the most out of their school bags:
Is it too heavy? Avoid those that appear too heavy even before books and lunches are packed. Ask your child to try the bag on and look for signs of spine curvature which may indicate heaviness. The backpack should not weigh more than 10% of your child’s body weight, so check the load of the bag (which should be on the label) prior to purchasing.
Search for a perfect fit: Check to make sure the product doesn’t hang more than 10cm below the waistline. If it hangs too low, pressure may be added to the shoulders and cause your child to lean forward when walking.
Look for padded straps: To prevent shoulder injury, look for options that include wide, padded strapping – similar to a seatbelt protector.
Choose adjustable straps: You want to make sure you can adjust the straps on the backpack to allow for growth and prevent spine misalignment.
Check out our top picks
Whilst colour and style are important, comfort and durability need to take precedence when we purchase backpacks. Sure, pick the holographic one or the one with a cool keychain attached, but make sure they also come with the points mentioned above.
We recommend checking our collection to see child-friendly options that embrace their little bodies, not place pressure on them.