How to buy a good school bag for kids in Singapore

November 26, 2018
  • Buy the right type
    1 / 6 Buy the right type

    Buying a school bag for your child? It’s important to choose the right design for kids in Singapore, who often carry heavy loads to school.

    Look for a bag with wide straps – these distribute the weight across your child’s shoulders, says Samuel Ong, a physiotherapist at Core Concepts.

    Related:12 things you must do to prepare your child for primary 1

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  • Avoid trolley bags
    2 / 6 Avoid trolley bags

    Padded shoulders also make the bag more comfortable. Make sure the surface area of the back of the bag matches your kid’s torso size, and avoid sling bags.

    Many schools discourage the use of trolley bags as they are cumbersome and difficult to carry up stairs.

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  • Pack right
    3 / 6 Pack right

    “Carrying heavy backpacks increases the tendency to lean forward to support the load,” Samuel says. “Over time, this may develop into a ‘hunched’ posture or the classic forward head posture and rounded shoulders.”

    With her muscles fatigued, your kid is also at risk of neck and back pain. Rather than pack every book every day, teach her to pack only what she needs for the subjects that day, Samuel suggests.

    If there are lockers available in school, encourage her to keep notes, books and files that she doesn’t need regularly, in those storage compartments, instead.

    Related: 10 tips to help your disorganised child

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  • Bag should be 10 per cent of your kid's weight
    4 / 6 Bag should be 10 per cent of your kid's weight

    Her bag should weigh no more than 10 per cent of her body weight. Most of the weight should be in the central compartment, he says. Place heavier items close to the back of the bag – which is closer to your kid’s spine – and the lighter items in front.

    Water bottles can add to an already heavy bag, so get her to fill up her bottle in school, instead of lugging it all the way from home.

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  • Carry with care
    5 / 6 Carry with care

    Some kids like their backpacks slung low, but this position swings it further from your child’s centre of gravity, making her muscles work harder to carry and “control” the bag, Samuel explains.

    Have her carry it high against the shoulders; the base should be about the level of her belly button.

    Related: What to prepare for childcare: things to pack

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  • Instill good habits
    6 / 6 Instill good habits

    Discourage her from slinging it on one shoulder, too. This hurts the back and neck, since your tween would need to use one side of her muscles more to balance the heavy load on the other side. That could lead to neck, shoulder and back pain.

    If she’s travelling long distances, perhaps on a bus where she has no seat, have her place the bag on the ground instead of carrying it.


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