Your child’s mental health could be at risk if they play too many video games.
A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows excessive gaming can lead to depression, anxiety and poor performance in school.
The study, which spanned over two years, looked at more than 3,000 students ranging from elementary-aged to those in secondary schools. Researchers found that children and teens who already suffered from mental health problems such as anxiety or depression tended to gravitate towards video games as a coping mechanism—which actually exacerbated their existing problems. Those who didn’t have any existing health issues prior to engaging in excessive game playing were more likely to develop depression, anxiety and social phobias.
It doesn’t mean throwing out the Nintendo Wii—just simply monitoring your child’s time in front of the computer or TV screen. Experts recommend that elementary school students engage in no more than one hour of video game playing a day. For teens, it’s suggested that they put the controllers away after two hours.
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