Growing numbers of children are developing irreversible back deformities, because of the weight of the bags they carry to school.
Half of all children suffer back pain.
Overloaded school bags that are up to double the size of those carried ten years ago are contributing to the surge.
Pupils carry bags filled with heavy books and packed lunches, which may weigh as much as two stone.
Children as young as 10 are turning up in doctors' and physiotherapists' rooms with back and neck ache strained muscles, headaches and poor posture.