SCHOOL may be a pain in the neck for millions of children - but it could also develop into a problematic pain in the back when they get older.
Youngsters who carry bags crammed with book and sports kit are being warned they face spinal or muscle problems when they grow up.
The issue is being highlighted during National Back Week which runs from October 13.
A survey run by charity Back Care in 1997 found that eight out of 10 children were carrying too much weight in poorly-designed school bags.
Rachel Blower, a Huddersfield school nurse, will be meeting youngsters and telling them how to prevent injuries years from now.
She said school bags often became excessively heavy when children graduated to high school. She urged pupils to use lockers to store their belongings where possible.
"It's thought a lot of adult back pain can be traced to childhood," she said.
"Children start life with healthy backs and good posture but problems can develop when they are adults if they don't look after their backs now."
She said pupils would benefit from carrying rucksack-type bags.
"Everybody needs to be aware of the stresses and strains placed on young bodies as they grow."
Exercise and good posture can help. Youngsters should try not to slouch.
Mrs Blower suggested pupils do as much sport as possible and walk to school.