Excessive Internet use can be linked to lack of sleep, obesity, school problems, behavioural issues among children, says research.
Researchers of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have claimed that spending long hours on social media has been linked to violence, cyber-bullying, school woes, obesity, lack of sleep and a host of other problems.
"Many parents are clueless about the impact media exposure can have on their children," Victor Strasburger, lead author of a new AAP policy said.
A recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old child spends nearly eight hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media.
About 75 percent of 12-to 17-year-olds own cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.
"When 70 percent of children and teenagers have access to electronic media in their bedrooms, parents have no way of knowing what they are seeing, or downloading or texting. This is a plea for parents to take back control," Strasburger said.
Pediatricians have expressed concern about what kids are viewing, how much time they are spending with media, and privacy and safety issues with the Internet.
"Media have an impact. Kids learn from what they are seeing. One violent movie isn't going to turn your child into a mass murderer. But a constant diet of media violence is not healthy for kids, whether it's video games or violent movies, or TV," he added.