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Backpack Do's and Don'ts

By Elaine Smith

You need to buy a backpack for your son, but you are unsure which one to buy and don't know how to choose the right one. After all there are those reports about how backpacks are damaging our children's backs. What are you as a parent supposed to do?

Here are a few do's and don'ts about buying and using backpacks. Hopefully you will at least some of them helpful.

Don't buy the first backpack you see no matter how much your son whines. Do shop around. Check the department stores and sporting goods stores, do a web search.Try to find out what is available and how much you can expect to pay. Some schools require the children to have a backpack, and others do not. Also, some schools insist on see through backpacks, to cut down on he chances of kids bringing contraband, such as drugs or weapons to school.

If your child's school has this policy, then you have few choices to make. Some do not allow wheeled packs, they are seen as a tripping hazard. Do check to see if the product has a warranty. What is the store's return/refund policy? Some of the well-known makers of backpacks give lifetime warrantees.

We had a backpack for almost 10 years and the zipper broke and tore away from the fabric. We sent it back, and since that particular pack had been discontinued so they sent us a brand new one a brand new one.

Don't buy a backpack simply because it may be a few dollars cheaper than one with a warranty. The if you need to replace it, you may well have paid more for 2 packs than if you had gotten the one with the warranty originally.

Do buy the best backpack that you can afford preferably one that has wide padded shoulder straps and at the very least, a waist belt. IF you can afford it get one that has a padded back and a chest strap.

Don't cave in and get a trendy backpack that your daughter wants if it doesn't have at least some of the safety features. Do use an internet search to check the rating and testing results of the backpack you are considering buying. Consumer protection organizations routinely run this testing for durability, comfort, and safety.

Don't buy a backpack just because of a low price or because you recognize the brand name, or because all of your son's friends have one like it. Or because he thinks it is "cool"

Do check out the backpack. Make sure it is made of durable material. Look to see if the seams are strong. and if the zippers open and close smoothly. Check that the straps and belts work properly.

Don't go for cute.

Just because your daughter loves a particular character, doesn't mean you have to get her that pack especially if it isn't back friendly Get her an umbrella with her character on it.

Do decide ahead of time what features you want in a backpack, such as extra padding or a sternum strap.

Don't buy a backpack for you or your child just because it is the newest trend,the pack that everyone has to have.

Do insist your child wear her backpack properly, using both shoulder straps, and the waist belt.

Don't allow her to wear it slung over one shoulder, or to take unnecessary items like radios, CD players or hand held games to school, they not only add extra weight, but are not allowed in most schools.

About The Author
Elaine Smith is a freelance writer with advice for consumers on purchasing a variety of School Backpacks her numerous articles provide a resource of interesting and information.


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