BOSTON (CBS) — You may jokingly tell people your kids are addicted to video games but experts in China are taking excessive screen time very seriously.

According to the New York Times, Chinese doctors say children who spend hours and hours staring at screens could be suffering from a clinical disorder, and they have established rehabilitation centers where youngsters are isolated from all media.

We haven’t gone that far here in the U.S., but one study in 2010 suggested the average 8-to-10 year old spend nearly eight hours on various forms of media. Teens, even more, and that can increase their risk of behavioral problems, poor school performance, and health issues.

Parents are often guilty of handing over our cell phones or tablets to keep our kids preoccupied, but we should set limits of no more than one to two hours of screen time a day and emphasize free play outdoors, reading, and hobbies instead.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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