New research has found that parents who constantly play on their mobile phones in front of their children are guilty of "benign neglect" and risk driving them to a dependency of screens.

According to Dr Aric Sigman, a generation of youngsters are growing up with a virtual addiction to computers, televisions and smartphones with real similarities to alcoholism.

He told the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health annual conference in Glasgow that parents need to "regain control" of their children.

They can take steps to doing this by using the new Bemilo system, which allows parents to control how their kids use mobile phones.

Youngsters can be prevented from texting, making calls or going online during certain hours that parents designate.

Dr Sigman added: "Passive parenting' in the face of the new media environment is a form of benign neglect and not in the best interests of children. Parents must regain control of their own households."

Posted by Simon Thomas

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