If your child’s school doesn’t have a prescribed school backpack, you and your child are probably already on the hunt to find one that they’ll love showing off at school.

But, before grabbing the ‘coolest’ one on the shelf, it’s important to know that a poor-quality bag loaded with heavy school books and a lunch pack can lead to back pain.

According to the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists, carrying a heavy school bag for long periods of time could put children at an increased risk of future back problems in adulthood.

They say the style of the school bag a child uses and some practical tips on reducing stress on the spine may reduce the risk of them developing back problems later on.

Kidshealth.org says parents should take the following tips into consideration when choosing a school bag for their child:

  • Choose a lightweight bag. Leather bags are very sophisticated, but they weigh more than canvas backpacks.
  • Choose a bag with wide, padded shoulder straps. Straps that are too narrow can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • Look for a padded bag. This is not only more comfortable, but your child won’t get poked by sharp objects like pencils or rulers and notebooks inside their bag.
  • Choose a bag with a waist belt. This will help to distribute the weight more evenly across your child’s body. The Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists stresses that this bag needs to be worn correctly and shouldn’t be suspended from one shoulder or carried in the hand.
  • A bag with multiple compartments. This will help distribute the weight throughout your child’s bag.

Before buying a bag on wheels, check with your child’s school if this is allowed and also take into consideration that they are hard to pull up stairs. So, if there’s a lot of stairs at your child’s school, this may not be the best option.

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Here are some of our best back-to-school backpacks for kids:

Edison School Backpack, R549

Available from Makro

Edison School Backpack, R549

 

Totem Ergonomic Backpack, R1 099

Available from Takealot.com

Totem Ergonomic Backpack, R1 099

Aspirant School Backpack, R198

Available from Takealot.com

Aspirant School Backpack, R198

Edison Business Backpack, R649

Available from Game

Edison Business Backpack, R649

Smash 3-Division Senior Orthopaedic Backpack, R699

Available from Makro

Smash 3-Division Senior Orthopaedic Backpack, R699

Roxy Deluxe Backpack, R878

Available from Waltons

Roxy Deluxe Backpack, R878