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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: heavy school bags

Forget satchels and bags stuffed to the brim with books; all pupils require for their schooling these days is a lightweight tablet computer, right?

Well, wrong, according to concerned doctors. While digital technology marches on, children are still being weighed down with bags, books and kit that are putting them at risk of a bad back.

Apparently we're facing an epidemic of problems among children aged 11 or 12, when lugging around history homework, geography textbooks and muddy football boots finally becomes too much.

According to charity BackCare, pupils shouldn't carry more than 10 per cent of their body weight. Yet in extreme cases, children are somehow managing to heave around 60 per cent, the charity says.

Now, there might be a problem with childhood obesity, but this kind of day-long weight training regime doesn't seem to be the answer. So, it's off to the naughty step with heavy school bags and schools that don't outlaw their use. And if children can't yet store everything they need on an iPad, here's a less technological suggestion: school lockers.

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