Shopping for a Good School Bag for Edison: IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Protection School Bag

I’ve to admit that I didn’t pay much attention in choosing a school bag for Edison last year when he was about to embark on his Primary One journey.  The main reason is because he has a locker at school, so I was under the impression that his school bag will not be heavy.

But I was so wrong.

It turned out that the average weight of his school bag is 4kg (that’s a quarter of his body weight!) So I imagine myself carrying an 11kg bag to work (11kg = 1/4 of my body weight). That looks really awful and the possibility of Edison stressing his spine is real.

The irritating thing about kids is that they like to carry everything to school. When he’s unsure, he packs everything. When he’s paranoid of forgetting something, he packs everything. When he’s too lazy to unpack, he packs everything. Conclusion – he still packs everything to school. And I also realized he didn’t use the school locker at all!

The main problems associated with his current school bag are:

1) The base of the bag dropped below his waist line, so he tends to lean forward to counter-balance the weight of the bag. This contributes to poor posture and can potentially be a source of musculoskeletal pains.

2) The bag doesn’t have a firm base. Hence, it tends to topple over when put on the floor. I knew this because I often see foot prints on his bag. Urgh!

3) The books can’t sit firmly in the bag because the base is not strong enough. As a result, the books are often twisted and folded at the corners (“plastic bag” effect). He also couldn’t retrieve the books easily from his bag.

4) The padding does not provide any ergonomic benefits and has poor ventilation. This explains why his shirt is often soaking in sweat by the time he reached home.

Choosing an appropriate school bag, having it fitted correctly and wearing it properly is extremely important to ensure healthy development of our children’s spine. A poorly fitted or excessively heavy school bag can cause a number of health issues such as scoliosis, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, lower back pain and poor posture.

Posture problems and spinal pain in children can potentially lead to permanent spinal damage in later years. This is the MAIN ISSUE that I’m concerned about. However, many of these issues can be prevented by choosing the right ergonomic school bag and wearing it properly.

Tips for Choosing the Right School Bag

Correct Size

  • Choose a backpack with two even straps which allow the weight of the load to be evenly distributed over the body. A waist belt or Chest Stabilization Strap will also help to keep the bag close to the body when moving around. All straps should ideally be padded.
  • Opt for a bag that fits your child and is appropriate to their body size. It should rest comfortably against their back. Avoid school bags that are wider than your child’s body size.
  • The bag should have adjustable buckles or straps to lower or lift the pack into the appropriate position.
  • The bag should also be well padded where it touches the back.

Recently, I came across IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Protection school bag from one of its showrooms ERGOWORKS at Marina Square #03-337, which is stone throw from the Pan Pacific Hai Tien Lo restaurant. I was instantly captivated by its design, structure and spinal protection benefits.

Before I go any further, please allow me to give you a brief introduction of this brand which I have researched.

IMPACT is the only multi-awarded ergonomic brand founded in Singapore since 1997, and also the only ergonomic brand medically endorsed and recommended by both the Singapore Physiotherapy Association & The Chiropractic Association (Singapore). IMPACT ergonomic products are widely distributed internationally, voted as most favourite ergonomic school bag and Best of the Best ergonomic products by reputable magazines, well trusted by many parents, schools and children for past 17 years.

So, I’m curious to find out how IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Protection school bag can address all my needs and prove itself to be the BEST ergonomic school bag for Edison. I’ll go through in details now.

My Review on IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Protection School Bag

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1. Firstly, the bag weighs about 1kg, considering an ergonomic bag at this size, so it’s super lightweight. The wide padded backpack straps provide stress-free support to the shoulders (feel like bungee straps); hence I don’t really feel the weight of the bag itself. The chest stabilizer belt reduces swinging movement and distributes the load evenly.

2. I really like the book divider with inner suspension straps to keep books and files neatly in the bag. The contents are held in a vertical position, and thus easy to be retrieved from the bag. The base is non-slip, firm and strong so there is no more “plastic bag” effect.

3. There are 2 side pockets designed for water bottles and small accessories. The bag is also fitted with USA 3M Scotchlite reflective strips and logo to provide better safety at night and low light situation. The bag is made of durable, water and UV resistant materials.

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4. What I like best is the good air breathable ventilation system. So it provides the comfort when he’s walking home from school under the hot sun.

5. Most importantly, the professional Spinal Care Systems provides excellent support to the contour of the back while effectively distributing the weight equally on the surface of entire back. Edison’s posture is greatly improved with IMPACT ergonomic school bag.

6. The bag also comes with a warranty of 180 days from the date of purchase against manufacturing faults and defective parts. ERGOWORKS provide after sales support and 20% trade in royalty program, that’s going to save a lot on next upgrade of IMPACT bag!

7. This feature may not be useful to him now, but I’m sure he will love it in 2-3 years time. There is a headphone speaker hole on the bag. So, he can enjoy his favourite music when he’s travelling.

Edison was truly excited with his new school bag. He commented that the bag is so comfortable to carry, and the straps are easily adjustable with their EZ parachute pull tabs. That’s the quickest and easiest adjustment I’ve ever seen!

Shopping Experience at ERGOWORKS Showroom

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ERGOWORKS Showroom at Marina Square

Our overall shopping experience at ERGOWORKS showroom has been an enjoyable one. The staffs are very patient in addressing our queries and pro-active in recommending the bags suitable for our needs.

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Last weekend, the showroom was full of parents shopping for ergonomic school bags and ergonomic desks and chairs for their children.

The showroom is spacious and all the products are organized neatly to give customers a pleasant shopping experience. There is a wide range of ergonomic school bags; we’re simply spoilt by choices. They come various sizes and functionalities – you can certainly find one that suits your needs.

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This is his final choice – this design comes in 3 striking colours.

Besides the IMPACT ergonomic school bags, there are many other ergonomic products such as DUOREST ergonomic chair, IMPACT ergonomic desk + chair set and get ready to indulge by wide selection of posture, back care products for entire family members!

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For the health, comfort and safety of your children, I strongly recommend IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack to you. Priced between $49.90 to $129.00, it is very reasonable – given the durability, fine workmanship, assembled by ISO certified manufacturer with more than 30 years of fine bags making experience and made with Korea superior grade materials.

IMPACT is the lightest ergonomic school bags in its class with durability tested by SGS and PSB. It’s also medically endorsed and recommended by posture experts. So, I’m assured of its quality and spinal protection benefits.

With IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack, I’m glad to give Edison a GREAT START to Primary 2.

For more information, please visit ERGOWORKS website. Also visit ERGOWORKS Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/ergoworkssg.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Ergoworks.

Starting Primary One: Back to School Essentials

This entry should have been posted before Edison enters Primary One, but somehow, I missed it. Anyway, it’s better late than never to share this entry on Back to School Essentials.

School Essentials

Here’s what I’ve prepared for Edison, and also what I think every kid needs for a great year at school!

1. First things first, he will need an awesome schoolbag. Nowadays, there are many super-stylish schoolbags to choose from. I choose something that is large and strong enough to hold all his books and supplies, in bright colours, and with side pockets to hold his water bottle.

I bought this yellow Adidas backpack for him, and V bought the other red Ferrari backpack. He loves both of them, and at the end, he chose the yellow one. (Yes, yellow is his favourite colour!)

2. A 500ml water bottle. I actually bought 3 water bottles for him, just in case he misplaced it, I don’t have to scramble for spares. Alas, he left his water bottle on the very first day of school, which I suspect he could have forgotten to bring back to his classroom after recess time.

3. A pencil case and stationeries – from Kiddy Palace and Popular Book Store.

4. Textbooks and workbooks – from school book store.

5. A transparent A4 plastic folder. I can’t emphasize how useful the plastic folder is. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to read circulars and notes from school that are all crumpled in the schoolbag – ‘giam cai’ that what we call it. Kids will simply chuck the papers into their bags. It’s good to teach them how to put the papers neatly into the plastic folder before putting them into their schoolbag.

6. A wallet. Again, having a forgetful son always makes me think of all possible scenarios that can happen to him at school. If I give him a big wallet to keep in the bag, he may forget to bring it out during recess time and ended up with no money for food.

If I put the money in his pockets, there is a high risk of dropping them when he goes to the toilet. So, I gave him a small wallet that can be fit nicely into his pocket. So far, he’s managing his pocket money and wallet quite well.

7. A watch. I started teaching him how to tell time and how to make use of his watch before the school starts. I’m not sure how frequent he looks at his watch now, but at least, he must know what time the school and recess starts and ends. I bought a children’s watch from Swatch, and the boy thinks that it’s ultra cool to wear a watch to school. He’s loving it!

8. School Uniforms and iron-on name tags. From the school, of course!

9. White shoes and white socks. I bought two pairs of Reebok white shoes and few pairs of white socks from Royal Sporting House.

10. Name stickers. You’ll definitely need lots of them to label almost everything that your kids bring to school. I’ve been ordering name stickers from this online store four years ago since Edison started Nursery, and they are pretty good!

11. Lastly, lunch containers if you intend to pack food for your kids to eat during recess time. I haven’t been packing any food for the boy yet as he prefers to buy food from the canteen.

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Click HERE to read all my posts on Starting Primary One series.

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My Six-Year-Old Big Boy

Edison at 6-year-old

The second week of school is ending soon today, how is everyone doing? I hope that all our kids have settled down in school already.

As for Little Edison, yes, he has settled down in K2 this year. It’s the same school, same routine and same classmates for him. Only changes are his teachers and classroom. So technically, it should be an easy transition for him.

Since he started school last week, he keeps repeating this to me: “I’m six years old now, and I’m a big boy.” He is very proud of his ‘big boy’ status and being the oldest kids in school now. And I told him this: “If you see a little kid crying at school, you should go over and tell him/her not to cry. Take care of those children younger than you.”

I’m not sure if he’ll really approach them if he sees someone crying.

Our morning routine has been adjusted back to ‘school’ mode and we’re less hurried if we could wake up slightly earlier. I’m still driving him to school, since it’s near my office. I asked him if he wants to join his friends to take the school bus, and his answer was, “No, I want to take Mama’s car.” So, I’ll continue to be his ‘chauffer’ as long as he needs me.

Recently, I was caught with a big surprise when I heard him sprouted the word ‘fucking idiot’.

   Me: Boy, you shouldn’t say that word. It’s a very bad word.

   Edison: But Papa is saying that. (Now I know where he learnt the word from)

   Me: Papa is an adult, but you’re a small boy.

   Edison: So, I can say that word when I’m an adult?

  Me: Errr, still NO. It’s a bad word. Nobody should say it.

   Edison: But why Papa says that?

   Me: Go ask your Papa!

And so, I issued a warning to V to be extra careful when he’s talking in front of our boy. I’ve a feeling that this conversation is not so over yet. Perhaps before the next bad word comes, I should start thinking of how to answer his questions.

Back to School Essentials

After a long holiday, heading back to school may seem like a drag to some kids. We can help our children to get revved up by taking them on a school supplies shopping trip! Crack opens your notebook and start jotting down the must-haves supplies for the school year before you head to the store.

Instead of telling you what to buy, which most of you already know, I’ll be sharing with you some important back to school routines or essentials that cover the different aspects of our children’s learning journey.

1. Eat and live healthily

This is definitely the best lesson we can teach our children, and it will stay with them for life. A healthy child has energy to play and learn, sleeps well, enjoys a variety of food and has the potential for a brighter future.

Hence, we should start cultivating the habit of maintaining good health from young to prevent health problems when they grow up. On the same token, knowing what kind of food that can keep our children on the path of good health is very important.

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Photo Credit: HPB Website

I always follow the Healthy Diet Pyramid. Eat a variety of food from each group, but more from the bottom of the pyramid and less from the top.

Useful Info: Build a Healthy Food Foundation by HPB

2. Keep germs away

This is probably the most important among all. Protect our children from contagious diseases like HFMD and Influenza.

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Before they eat (most important!) and regularly throughout the day, make sure our children wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap and water for about 20 seconds. Alcohol sanitizers are very useful when there is no soap and water, which is why I always carry one in my bag.

If they experience flu symptoms, bring them to the doctor. Keep them at home if they are unwell and as much as possible, we should avoid crowded places such as schools, child care centres and shopping malls.

3. Stay active and keep obesity at bay!

An overweight child may suffer issues with self-esteem if he gets teased by his friends at school due to his size. It will also lead to chronic health problems when he grows up.

So, it’s important to have physical activities spread over the day. Take them to the playground, play some games or dance to their favourite songs. In the evening, it’s good to enjoy a stroll in the park or go cycling. Or go for a swim!

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I reach home at around 6:15pm on weekdays. Usually I’ll spend half an hour playing ball games or cycling with Little Edison before we have dinner at 7pm. After a sweat-out session, his appetite is amazingly good and he finishes his dinner without any fuss.

4. Good eye care habits

I’ve seen an increasing number of children having myopia these days, and it really worries me. I’m trying very hard to instil good eye care habits with Little Edison now. Some of the things that I’ve done on this aspect include:

  • Ensure that there is adequate lightning at his study area
  • Sit upright when reading, and hold the book at least 30cm away from his eyes
  • Reduce glare on electronics devices and limit the usage of TV and iPhone
  • Relax his eyes for 5 minutes after every 30 minutes of near work or activities
5. Dental check-up

Yes, that is! Don’t forget the dental care! I bring Little Edison for dental check-up twice a year, and that’s usually during the school holiday or one week before the school starts.

It’s good to know that a child with a healthy set of teeth will be able to speak properly, carry off a good self-image and boost his confidence. Most importantly, healthy habits that start from young will carry over to the adulthood.

I choose a toothbrush with a smaller head and soft bristles for Little Edison. My dentist advised me to use toothpaste with fluoride as soon as he learns how to spit effectively. Thus, he started using fluoride toothpaste more than a year ago.

I bring him for dental check-ups twice a year since he was 3 years old. So far, he has two dental treatments where the dentist put sealants on his molars to protect against tooth decay. The sealants are very effective and best of all, they are painless.

If you have any back-to-school routines to share with me, please drop me a comment here. I love to hear from you too!