It’s back to school time and that means its back to heavy backpacks too.Young children who are still growing and developing should never carry more than 20 percent of their own bodyweight on their backs. And yet every day kids around the country head off laden down with textbooks and copybooks, and that’s not to mention extracurricular items like musical instruments or PE gear.
There are a number of guidelines for parents eager to minimise the dangers of heavy backpacks. You should look for a good quality bag with wide straps and a waist-strap if possible. The heaviest items should be loaded close to the spine and you should try to convince your kids that carrying a bag slung on a single shoulder is a bad idea.
Another possible solution is to lower the overall weight before they even leave the house. Do an inventory of what they need and consider contacting the teacher to confirm what they use everyday. Get a locker at school if possible and consider getting a second hand copy of the heaviest textbooks to have a spare at home.
Technology also has a significant part to play in all of this. Many texts are available in digital forms, meaning your child could bring a tablet or laptop to replace a whole bag full of books and learning computer skills is vital for their future employment.
Some tablets and laptops are even more suited to carrying around all day, with lightweight construction and incredible battery life. Here are a few of our top picks for convenience at school.
LG G-Pad 7 inch tabletIf you’re looking for something really small and lightweight, a 7 inch tablet might be your first port of call. The screen may not be large but the reading experience can be excellent and coupled with a Bluetooth keyboard the typing experience is acceptable. Best of all, it weighs less than half a kilo!
Apple iPad Mini with RetinaIf you’re looking for something with a bit more screen real-estate – perfect for drawing or designing projects – the iPad Mini is a great choice. The construction is slim and sleek, so it will slip into any bag, the onscreen keyboard is a joy to use and the battery lasts a whopping 10 hours. It’s even better with the slick detachable keyboard and it only weight 331 grams.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3If you can’t decide between getting a laptop or tablet, you really want the Microsoft Surface Pro. Years of research and design have gone into making it the ultimate laptop replacement but with the portability of a tablet. The stylus works great for design in tablet mode and it all transforms in seconds into a powerful laptop with a full keyboard and even mouse support. All this at just 800 grams.
Apple MacBook Air 11 inchApple has cornered the market on stylish devices in recent years but they’re also dedicated to making them as lightweight as possible. And did we mention beautiful to look at? The MacBook Air’s 11 inch model packs incredibly fast specs into a body that’s just 17mm at its thickest point. All the best of MacOS is on board and the battery goes for an amazing 9 hours. This amazing package weight just 1.08 kilos.
In Short: Heavy backpacks can be the bane of schoolchildren’s lives but we’ve got tips to make them lighter than (MacBook) Air!