Pack it right Filed on August 26, 2021

A backpack for your child is not just a purchase, it’s an investment

It’s back to school season and the time to invest in a good backpack for your child for the new academic year. It can even come in handy for you if you need an extra bag when the family travels on vacation.

Ensure your child always wears the bag properly. The most important thing, of course, is to make sure that a bag isn’t too heavy. The spine is made up of 33 bones, which can be compressed unnaturally if your child’s backpack is too heavy or worn incorrectly. Backpacks for kids need to be worn with both straps to evenly distribute weight.

Children learn from example, so if you’re wearing your backpack on one shoulder, chances are they will do the same. In the long run, heavy backpacks and unevenly distributed weight only cause neck and back pain and bad posture.

Keep these in mind when looking for a new backpack for your child.

- The smaller the backpack, the better. Teach your child to clean out their backpack every day after school and repack it for the next day. Any unneeded items and debris can be removed so they aren’t carrying around a backpack that’s unnecessarily heavy.

- Always opt for two straps instead of one. Messenger bags, satchels, and purses force weight on one shoulder and are more detrimental to spine health and posture than two strapped bags.

- Your child should be comfortable. For this, padded straps are the way to go. Narrow or unpadded straps can dig into their shoulders and cut off circulation.

- The backpack shouldn’t hang more than four inches below your child’s waistline. If it does, it increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking and spoiling their posture.

- Ensure there are enough working and accessible zips and compartments for food, books, a water bottle, mask and other knick-knacks. Before purchasing, thoroughly check all the zips and that there is no damage on the inside.

- Do some research on high quality backpack brands. Buying cheap ones will only result in uncomfortably for your child plus broken zips, torn straps etc. within a few months. Splurge on good quality, which will reward you later.

Nisthula Nagarajan

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