Children who look after relatives are missing out on some of the key aspects of childhood such as a social life and the chance to play sport, according to a new survey.
Young carers are half as likely as their peers to take part in sport, while just one in nine see their friends every day, compared to more than a third of all young people.
The results of the survey, carried out on behalf of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland, are being released to coincide with the start of the Scottish Young Carers Festival.
More than half (56%) of carers who took part said they cared for their mother, with six in ten spending more than 20 hours a week in a caring role and one in five taking up more than 50 hours a week.
While 45% of all adolescents participate in sport most days, the figure for carers aged between 10 and 19 is just 22%.
Only about 11% of carers see their friends every day, compared to an average of 47%, while 39% of carers watch films or DVDs on a daily basis. The figure for all adolescents is 52%.
The Scottish Young Carers Festival will bring together 600 young carers and give them the chance to take a break and meet others in similar situations.
One of them is James Fraser, 16, from Glasgow, who cares for his 51-year-old mother Phyllis, who has the chronic pain disorder fibromyalgia.
He said: "I spend roughly 54 hours a week caring for mum and I really notice how much less spare time I get than my friends during the school term.
"Whilst they're playing football or going to the cinema, I'm usually indoors looking after my mum."
Louise Morgan, young carers services development manager for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland, said: "Our survey clearly shows that young carers miss out on many of the activities other children and young people take for granted - such as spending time with their friends, watching films or taking part in sports.
"Young carers take on a hugely important role in our society, providing care for their families and saving the country millions of pounds.
"The least we can do is recognise this by doing our best to support them and prevent them taking on too much responsibility at a very early stage in their lives."