Primary schools in Ireland are open for at least 183 days of the year, with secondary opening for at least 167. This means that kids will spend roughly half the year carrying their schoolbags, so ensuring you buy the correct one is more important than it may seem. It may be strange to think that there are right and wrong types of schoolbags, but in this blog, we will look at a few reasons as to why this is the case, and offer a few tips to help you ensure you buy the right bag.
Your child may think that a single-strapped bag is cool, but such bags are much worse for their health than those with two straps. Single-strapped bags, such as messenger bags, cause the weight of the bag to be distributed unevenly, pulling down one side of their body. This can lead to a whole host of problems, such as back pain, neck pain, and forceful curvature of the spine. Buying a bag with two straps will ensure that the weight is spread more evenly, and help avoid problems like these.
Similarly, how well the bag fits your child will affect the weight distribution, which will in turn affect their back, shoulders, and neck. Making sure to buy a bag that is not too large for your child will help prevent the bag from drooping too low and pulling them back, which could cause them to overcompensate by leaning forward. Adjusting the straps when you buy the bag will also help prevent this, and get the child used to carrying their bag the proper way.
Avoiding a bag that is too large will have immediate benefits by ensuring that the weight of the bag is distributed properly, but it is also worth going for a bag that fits, but is on the smaller side. Children have a tendency to overstuff their bag rather than regularly take out unnecessary items. A smaller bag will make this bad habit hard to pick up, and encourage kids to swap out their items regularly.
According to research from the charity Backcare, 80% of children in the UK carry bags that are roughly 20%of their weight. Anything over 15% can be very damaging, and it is recommended to stick to a bag that is about 10% the weight of the child.
Some bags are basically one big pouch, while others have lots of different compartments. Those with multiple compartments make it easier for kids to store their large, heavy books closer to their back, and keep smaller, lighter items further away. Many bags also now have external pouches for water bottles, which can be forgotten inside the bag, adding unnecessary weight and even reducing the quality of the water inside.
Schoolbags will be used for significant amounts of time for about half the year in total, so ensuring you get the right one can help prevent your child from experiencing needless discomfort. Following these tips and teaching your child not to overfill their bag will benefit their health and get them into good habits as early as possible.