Amendment: For clarification purposes having just received this email “If you are a homeschooler, one does not need a backpack. You need plenty of drawers, cabinets, and/or closet space. Thank you anyway.” My reply, “Yes, as we detail often on our blog, we are world-traveling car-schooling homeschoolers. So, my girls have their backpacks during our daily travels. Additionally, I don’t know any homeschoolers who do not do the same–often it’s multiple bags, boxes, and trunk-fulls too. ” Also, I specifically assigned this article because hubby & I have bad backs, and I was aware of the poor back stats in kids. Therefore, we invest in backpacks, luggage, etc. to prevent early-onset problems for our girls. InshaAllah, God willing, you (our readers) will do the same for your kids.
SubhanAllah (Glory be to God), another summer is coming to a close, and another school year is about to begin. And that means…back to school shopping!
It always bothered me when I noticed back-to-school sale signs in the middle of July at various department stores, because I would feel my summer had just begun. Now, however, the summer really is almost over and school shopping can be procrastinated no further.
Besides all the notebooks, pencils, and folders, one of the most important—if not the most important—item on the shopping list is the backpack. For without this nifty sack, all of a child or teen’s items would be all over the place, and the kid would be struggling to hold all those notebooks, pencils, folders, and whatever else found its way into a backpack in their bare hands. And imagine dealing with that in the rain or snow…not a pretty picture.
A Scary Back Statistic for Kids
Buying the right backpack is very important as it needs to be big enough for a child’s grade level, yet supportive enough to not hurt his or her back. According to an article by Robert Longley,
“Studies show that heavy backpacks can lead to both back pain and poor posture…[Back] in 2001, backpacks were the cause of 7,000 emergency room visits and countless complaints of muscle spasms, neck and shoulder pain.”
With a statistic that massive, one must not slack off in the responsibility of backpack purchasing. One possible solution is a rolling backpack, one with wheels that children can just pull along behind them like a suitcase. I’ve seen many kids in elementary and middle school using these, and the problem is they get caught up in a lot of stuff—chairs, desks, even people’s legs! I don’t think it’s the best option for a child that needs to walk through crowded hallways at school.
The good old backpack that can be carried on your back is a fine option, as long as you make sure to follow our tips below.
Backpack Tips for Buyers
- Take into consideration your child’s grade level. A kindergarten student will not be carrying as much material home as a high school junior.
- Have your child hold his/her lunchbox in hand instead of stuffing it into the backpack. This will reduce the weight put on the back.
- Don’t be afraid to spend some money on a good quality backpack. Check reviews online before purchasing. If going into a specialty store, ask the sales clerk for advice. Buying an awesome backpack now can well-likely last for more than a couple of years. (I find myself still sporting the same backpack from sixth grade!)
In addition to the above three steps, Longley’s article is a beneficial read. Many of the tips I was brainstorming prior to writing this post have already been eloquently published online here. Some I find to be extra significant are:
- Wear both straps over shoulders. Every so often while I am driving or typing on the computer/laptop, I catch myself slouching greatly (probably due to carrying my book-filled backpack on one shoulder, despite my mother’s requests).
- Get packs with padded straps. This will allow for more comfort, and is a great selling point for a backpack. I remember seeing an infomercial long ago for a pack, and this was its unique feature. Now, many more are available.
- Adjustable straps are key to having your child’s backpack lasting many school years. As your child grows taller, having adjustable straps will allow for keeping a bag in good condition functional for many years to come.
Longley also addresses critical issues, such as:
- Children’s posture and health
- Uses of a backpack beyond schoolbooks
I wish I knew of these tips when I was younger because unfortunately, now, my posture is terrible. Don’t let this happen to your little ones! Buy them a supportive backpack before the next school year rolls in! If you have added backpack buying tips to share, please comment below.
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