5 Back-to-School Tips for a Better Backpack

Of all back-to-school purchases you'll make this year, one item will be used more than anything else. It's the backpack, because it carries the heaviest burden of textbooks, folders, notebooks, among other items.

That's why it's important you make smart back-to-school choices this year. Start with your backpack and importantly, what's in it.

Among their list of back-to-school safety tips the American Academy of Pediatrics say kids' backpacks should never weigh more than 20 percent of their body weight. Meaning, a 70-pound child shouldn't carry more than 14 pounds.

We'll have more AAP tips in a moment, but first here are five ways you can give your kids a smarter backpack this year:
• Hand sanitizer: I'm going to lead off with the most obvious health tip. This one's a no-brainer, but parents often overlook teaching kids to remember personal hygiene at school. Having a mini bottle of sanitizer will help them remember the importance of healthy habits. Of course, hand washing is the best habit, but it's not always practical on the fly. A little cleanliness will go a long way toward cutting back on the cold and flu season.
• Pen and pencil holder: If I had a quarter for every time my child asked for a pencil, I'd be a rich parent (especially if you gave me a dime for every time I couldn't find one). Cure this problem by giving your kids a sturdy and dependable pen and pencil holder that stays in their bag full-time. This Five Star Stand 'N Store® is a great back-to-school accessory that keeps their pens and pencils handy and secure.
• School planner: It goes without saying that time management isn't a strong suit for most children. Your kids need a physical means of seeing, scheduling, and planning their time. Set them up for success with a school planner that'll make teaching time management to your kids an easier process. Here's are some fun and colorful student planner ideas by Mead®.
• Planning binder: One thing is certain about school, the older the kids get the more books and papers they have to manage. Kids need a light and sturdy school organizer to help keep it all together because there's nothing worse than your child getting home and realizing they forgot their homework folder at school. Having an all-in-one binder organizer like this 2 inch binder with expanding file is one of the best options I've seen, because it offers room for notebook, folders and papers.
• A little punch: Here is a product that completes your smart backpack system. A portable 3-hole punch allows your child to punch important papers and keep them in their planning binder. It's certainly a better alternative to the beat-up folder crammed with crumpled papers. This handy Five Star Punch 'N Pouch® can be snapped into their binder and even has a zipper pocket for keeping lunch money or other items.

You want to give your kids a healthy start as they head to school this year. Send them out the door with a smarter backpack.

As promised, here are some additional backpack safety tips as advised by the AAP:
• Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
• Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's body weight.
• Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
• If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
• See more at: Back-to-School-Tips.



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