With the school season starting soon, you are probably looking to buy school bags for your young ones. However, with the vast number of options out there, you may be confused as to which is the best for your child. Besides caving in to their demands for their favourite cartoon character emblazoned on the bag, ergonomics is important to ensure that comfort is protected and growth is not affected!
Jennifer Liaw, a senior principal physiotherapist at the Department of Physiotherapy, Singapore General Hospital (SGH) shares tips on choosing the right school bag for your child.
Weight of school bag
The general guideline from Health Promotion Board (HPB) is for children to carry no more than 15 per cent of their bodyweight. In practice, that would generally mean no more than 3.5kg to 5kg for a child in the first few years of school.
9 elements of a good backpack
- Waist belt. It distributes the load across the hips if the load is heavy and adds extra stability, reducing the stress on the shoulders and neck.
- Padded and ventilated backrest. This would make carrying the bag more comfortable.
- Waterproofing. This is to prevent rain or sweaty backs from ruining the items.
- Compression straps. Use the compression straps to keep the load snug and compact against the back.