Skip to main content
live better

Sure, you have the whole I-walked-10-kilometres-to-school-uphill-both-ways story (fictional or not) to throw at your kids, but one thing they have on you?

The weight of their backpacks. Seriously, try picking up your kid's bag when it's filled with school supplies, lunch and all the various contraband gadgets they manage to stuff into it.

See the graphic

Heavy, no? It's tempting to buy a big backpack for your kid in hopes that it will last many years, but that also encourages them to cram more in there. If you child is wearing it the wrong way, he could be doing some serious damage to his neck, shoulders and back during those crucial years of development.

Here's your guide to helping your child pack and wear a backpack (it's not actually a no-brainer, you know).

Fitting Dos:

Make sure your kid wears his backpack at his shoulder line and that it doesn't sink down past his hips. Straps should be wide, padded and properly tightened. You should be able to slide your hand between the backpack and your child's back if it's fitting properly.

How heavy is too heavy?

Compare your child's weight with how much they can safely carry

Fitting Don'ts:

Thought the one-shoulder look was a thing of your generation? Nope. Wearing only one strap puts strain on the joints and muscles in the back and can cause the spine to lean in one direction (same goes for carrying a large tote bag – a look favoured by high-school girls). If your kid wears his backpack too low, it'll make him hunch forward.

* And don't do this: Buy a big backpack hoping it will last years – it'll encourage them to cram more in

The Globe's Back to School Guide