And here are some guidelines for that ever important bag:

First of all: RE-USE. Nothing wrong with last year’s back pack? Then send a great message and use it again.

If you are definitely buying a new one — don’t just go for fashion!

Kind of shocking statistic: Six out of 10 children will experience back pain before their 18th birthday, and backpacks are one big reason why!

When buying a new backpack, choose one with wide, padded shoulders and a padded back. And whether your children are using new or old bags, help them pack wisely with the heavier items close to the center of the back.

No backpack should weigh more than 10% to 20% of a child’s body weight. That means no more than 14 pounds for a 70-pound boy or girl. Try weighing a full backpack on a bathroom scale to get an idea of how much your child is really carrying- you might be surprised! Those text books add a lot of weight.

And get creative about lessening the load. whether it’s leaving unnecessary items in a locker, carrying a heavy item by hand, or just remembering to empty out old papers from folders. Those old assignments and notices about events add up quickly (just remember to recycle or reuse the paper once it’s out of the folders!).

And if your child does have an extra heavy load — some kids are willing to use back packs on wheels. Discuss it with them and you might find they’re more willing to get rid of the weight off their backs than you think.