Searching through the vast selection of kids backpacks can be daunting for any parent trying to find the right pack for their child.
First, realize that young bodies grow and change very fast so its important to make the transition from toddler backpacks to packs for elementary age kids that tend to increase the bag load as they advance from Grades 1 to 6.
Research studies show that elementary students carry more pack pounds than the American Occupational Therapy Association recommendation of 15% of a child’s total body weight. One reason for this dilemma is that over 95% of parents never check their child’s backpack weight and nearly 35% never check the contents.
If your youngster is dragging the pack on the floor, it’s time to pay attention to the load and find a solution.
No matter what brand or style you choose, the following factors should apply to all Kids backpacks so that your children survive the daily school routine without fatigue.
Kids Backpacks: Factors For Selection
Practical Decision – Though kids may pressure you to buy trendy designs and dazzling colors, kids backpacks deserve more consideration as a practical item used every day. Decisions based on construction, usable features and safety aspects shoudd outweigh price or fashion factors to ensure that the pack fits well and protects your child’s health.
Fabric Options – Preschooler packs are made from thin, plastic vinyls that clean well but are not long lasting. Elementary age Kids packs are usually sturdier with nylon or synthetic fabrics that take the abuse of daily use at school or outdoors. Other materials such as canvas provide good quality, but they tend to be thicker and heavier than lighter weight nylons. Leather backpacks also add more weight to carry and tend to have waterproof problems due to open seams.
Quality Check – Shopping in person, as opposed to online, has the advantage of being able to inspect and compare a variety of kids backpacks. Turn the pack inside out and look for double seam stitching versus a single stitch, with material left away from the stitching to prevent holes from appearing. Sloppy stitching and loose threads mark poor manufacturing and raw, exposed fabric edges tend to fray and eventually weaken the seam.
Size To Fit – One size does not fit all. Young kids are very different and each body changes from year to year and deserves some special attention. The bottom of kids backpacks should align with the child’s lower back and not drop beyond four inches below the waistline. Shoulder strap anchor points should rest one to two inches below the top of the shoulders to avoid extra stress.
Age Appropriate – Be aware that Kids packs may be marketed from the ages of 6 to 20, so ensure your child gets the most appropriate pack for his or her age group. Check the measurements and compare new packs with old packs and note the differences in size, capacity and features. Pay attention to earlier grade versus later grade elementary school bag requirements and the transtion, for both bodies and bags, into junior and high school grades.
Kids Backpacks: Tips For Buyer Satisfaction
Cheap Packs – The tendency to buy cheap for young students is tempting. In reality, those heavy loads in younger years can lead to stress, tiredness and sore shoulders. Spend a few more dollars for a quality kids backpack that lasts the whole school year and prevents the discomfort of poor designs and construction.
Comfort And Safety – Wide shoulder straps with contoured designs, instead of narrow, and good padding prevent numbness and helps to distribute the pack weight for more comfort. Chest straps are important to secure the pack during movement while walking or riding a bike. This keeps the pack snug and prevents excessive bouncing of a full load. Reflective strips or patches increase visibility of students for motorists and should be easy to see from a distance.
Zippers And Seams – Whether zippers are plastic or metal, it’s the quality that matters. Check zippers for easy pull open and closure when the bag is weighted down or stuffed for a better evaluation. Despite the hassle of getting stuck inside the zipper, fabric flaps that extend over zippers are actually good for keeping out the rain. Just find the best technique to keep the material out of the way.
Color Splash – Add a splash of bright color not only for fashion, but to help find your pack among the bag pile. It’s much easier to search for a strong, bold color patch that makes your bag stand out from the rest. And for parents trying to identify their child during school pick up time, a distinctive splash of hot pink, neon green or bold orange might be seen more than cool blue or basic black.