Is your child’s schoolbag too heavy?

With the Holiday period coming to an end most parents are looking forward to their kids going back to school. But before the fun begins most parents find themselves making one last dash to the shops to make sure everything’s ticked off the back to school supplies check list – including a school bag. But how often do we stop and think about the importance of a school bags size and weight?

We’ve put together this simple checklist of considerations to reduce the physical stress on children’s bodies

  • Make sure the total weight of the bag (including drink bottles and lunch boxes) does not exceed 10 per cent of the child’s body weight i.e. a child weighing 40kgs should have a bag weighing no more than 4kgs
  • Bag heights and widths are also important – the picture below features a general sizing guide
  • Try backs made from lightweight materials
  • Make sure the bag has adjustable shoulder straps  and encourage children to use both shoulder straps instead of just one to help evenly distribute the weight – I know one strapping is cooler but there’s nothing cool about a sore back!
  • Bags with padded bags are preferable
  • For High School kids that have to carry heavy textbooks and computers try a back with wheels so that the backpack can be pulled rather than carried
  • Wheels so that the backpack can be pulled rather than carried
  • Always pack the bag with heavier items first, that weigh (pun intended) heavier items are closer to the body’s centre of mass and their is more load on the stronger leg muscles than back