Half term is here. Soon enough though, our children will be burdened with school work once again, and – in a more physical sense – with school bags. A cohort of kids will be trying to haul their entire school life back and forth on a daily basis, as well as sports kits, musical instruments, the list goes on…
So, what should you look for when choosing a school bag? Ideally, weight should be carried on the hip girdle, which is much better developed for load-bearing than the shoulders. So, go for an adjustable waist-belt, as well as wide shoulder straps to even out the load.
Look for a padded back panel, or even better, a mesh panel to allow airflow – a sweaty, sticky back is only going to encourage students to resort to slinging their bag over one shoulder alone. Look for adjustability; both in the shoulder and the waist straps – this will allow the pack to be carried in the most efficient way.
Here are our top tips for school bags...
- Kids should carry around 10%, and no more than 15%, of their body weight. If there are lockers available at school, encourage your child to use them and think ahead about what they need to be carrying.
- Clear out backpacks on a daily basis so they don’t get filled up with out-of-date or unnecessary books and papers.
- Pack the bag properly – that means heavier items closest to the child’s back, use compartments to distribute weight as evenly as possible.
- Carry the bag properly – that means, use the waist-belt, adjust the straps so the bag is close to the back and not hanging down too far; the top of the pack should be no more than a couple of inches below shoulder height.
- Make sure your child knows how to pack and adjust their bag.
Your child’s back may benefit from osteopathic treatment. Using gentle manual therapy, an osteopath will help to resolve any stresses and strains that are affecting their body and relieve any pain. They can also provide lifestyle advice that may help to prevent the problem from coming back. Give us a call on 01722 512 043 to see how we can help!