Are you trying to decide on the best school bag for your child? Along with it being stylish enough for them to wear, there are a few other essential elements to consider. As a parent of 2 children, in primary and secondary school, here are my tips on picking the best school bags for your child, to ensure comfort, safety and style! This article is brought to you in association with schoolbooks.ie, for all your back to school needs.
Picking the correct school bag for your child can be difficult given the massive choice and range of school bags on offer. Involve your child in the choice to ensure they are happy and follow our tips from parents to ensure you are happy!
Picking the Right School Bag for Your Child
#1. Weight of School Books
Depending on what school stage your child is at, the weight of their school books can vary greatly. I often see children struggling to school with weighty bags that look bigger than them.
It is essential as they move into older classes and have more books, that their bag is ergonomically correct for the stage they are at. Check for padding around the lower back and in the straps and plenty of space for all the books they require.
Don’t be tempted to buy a bigger school bag because it will work for a few years, it is better to buy the right size school bag for the books they have now and upgrade as you go.
Fashion and styles change too and what they may like today, may not be what they want next year, so it can be a false economy to try and cover several years with one school bag!
Another way to cut down on the weight of school bags is to buy soft cover folders and notebooks rather than hard cover ones. And if the budget stretches, you could look at purchasing a second copy of some of the heavier books second hand so that your child has one set at home and one for school, so they don’t have to carry them to and from school each day.
Bear in mind when choosing the best school bag for your child that the total weight of your child’s packed school bag, should not exceed 15% of their body weight.
#2. Adjustable Straps
Two shoulder straps are best as this puts less strain on the back, shoulders and neck muscles. Be sure to adjust the shoulder straps, once your child has all their books, stationery etc in their bag, to ensure your child’s posture is at its best.
Too long and your child will lean forward. Too short and they may lean backwards, putting more strain on the shoulders and neck.
The perfect position is where the bag sits comfortably between the shoulders and in the middle of the back. Having an adjustable waist strap also helps take the strain away from the shoulders and neck and distributes the weight into the pelvis and legs.
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#3. Pockets for Everything
It is best to have a large centre pocket for less heavy books and a padded pocket to the rear for a laptop, tablet or very heavy books. Along with pockets for lunch, water, stationery etc.
Ensure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the bag with heavier items placed closer to the back and less weighty items placed near the front of the bag.
This will help to balance your child and not have them being pulled backwards or forwards by the weight.
#4. Weather Proof
It is good if your child can walk or cycle to and from school or take the bus where possible. It fosters independence and they get time with their friends alongside getting some exercise.
Look for school bags that are waterproof or have a rain cover for days that are not so good. This will protect the items in the bag and also protect a large portion of your child’s back too!
#5. Cleaning and Refreshing
I have purchased school bags that can be placed in the washing machine. I tend to wash them during mid-term breaks and holidays. It helps to keep them looking good and smelling fresh too!
If your child’s school bag is not machine washable, simply empty out the contents and sponge it inside and out with hot soapy water before leaving it to dry. This is also a great way of having a clear out and getting rid of non essential papers, books and items you thought were gone forever!
#6. Educating Your Child
I don’t know about you, but on the rare occasions when I go looking for items in my children’s school bags, I find all sorts of wonders! From notes that should have been passed on, to water bottles and food pots that I presumed were long gone, there is a myriad of non essential stuff that they are ferrying too and from school daily.
From the very 1st day of their schooling, educate them to empty their school bags at least once a week and as they get into 2nd level, to only carry the books they need to and from school each day! It will really save them from potential back pain in the future.