Finding the perfect backpack is a challenge because children want something fashionable, but parents usually want something that’s functional and preferably forever-lasting. However, I think comfort should trump all. In a recent article, Canadian Chiropractic Association spokesperson Dr. Annette Bourdon says the wrong backpack can lead to poor posture, headaches, nerve damages, and other health risks. She provided the following backpack shopping tips:
Finding the perfect size
In terms of width, the backpack should not exceed the child’s back and shoulders. Height-wise, it should sit between the top of the shoulders and hips. “Bigger is not necessarily better,” says Bourdon. I agree. The bigger the backpack, the more things kids want to stuff into it, and the heavier it becomes.
Look for pockets
“Pockets help organize content and distribute weight evenly,” says Bourdon. With different compartments, heavier items like that horrendous math textbook can be placed closer to the supporting back muscles. This prevents muscle strain and back pain. Besides, no one wants their child to walk around looking like the leaning tower of Pisa.
Parents.com recommends the Dino-Mite backpack for preschoolers. It’s made with lightweight materials and is only 9 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches.
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