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Tips for Choosing School Bags

Preschools and Kindergartens

Shopping for school bags is an important task for a parent. Your child will spend every day with that school bag for a semester or perhaps the entire year, depending on how long the bag stays in good shape. Experts say it's important to give a young child a say in the choice of the school bag, but other important issues also much be considered.

Look for Rules on School Bags

Somewhere in the information you received while signing up your child for preschool or kindergarten are the rules regarding school bags. In some schools around the country, kids are required to purchase only clear school bags. That way, it's harder to bring something concealed onto school grounds. While these rules are more prevalent at the middle school and high school level, don't be surprised if your elementary school has that rule in place for both kindergarten and preschool. There have been several incidents in the past couple of years of kids bringing weapons to school - both inadvertently and to show off to their friends.

Other Issues with School Bags

  • Weight. Experts warn parents not to send their kids to school with school bags that are greater than 10 percent of their child's weight. Even in kindergarten, kids can pack up school bags with so much that they risk injury carrying the bags around all day. Part of this issue has to do with a child not overpacking for school. However, it's also vital not to start with a school bag that feels heavy even when it's empty.
  • Durability. School bags with straps that go over each shoulder are a good idea because they evenly distribute the load. While kids may opt for school bags with movie or cartoon heroes on the front of the bag, make sure any bag you choose seems sturdy and likely to handle the beating it will take.
  • No wheels. Most experts say young children - and in fact all kids - should stay away from school bags on wheels that can be pushed around like luggage in an airport. It's too easy for trash or some obstruction to catch and eventually break one or all of the wheels. Additionally, wheels are no good on steps, requiring the child to lift up and carry the school bag at times during the day.
  • Zippered storage areas. Make sure you shop for school bags with plenty of zippered storage areas for things both large and small, from pens, ranging from erasers and glue to notebooks and lunch. Kids shouldn't have to go into the main area of the school bag again and again looking for school supplies. Zippered compartments also reduce the chances of items in the main compartment of the bag from being crushed.

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