Parents told to curb child hi-tech play
PARENTS should limit youngsters' tweeting and texting and keep smartphones and laptops out of bedrooms, a paediatricans' group says.
The influential paediatrician' group, American Academy of Paediatrics, says parents need to know that unrestricted media use can have serious consequences.
It's been linked with violence, cyberbullying, school woes, obesity, lack of sleep and other problems.
And "many parents are clueless" about the profound impact media exposure can have on their children, said Dr Victor Strasburger, lead author of the new policy.
The policy statement, published online yesterday in the journal 'Pediatrics,' cites a 2010 report that US children aged eight to 18 spend an average of seven hours daily using some kind of entertainment media.
Many kids send text messages from their bedrooms after "lights out," including sexually explicit images yet few parents set rules, the policy says.
The policy comes two weeks after police arrested two Florida girls accused of bullying a classmate who committed suicide.
One of the girls boasted about the bullying online and the local sheriff questioned why the girls' parents hadn't restricted their web use.