Children as young as 11 are being taken into care over fears they are addicted to gaming, with 13 youngsters removed from their families in two months over computer use.
In what is believed to be the first cases of their kind, some of the youngsters were taken away because of their own addiction, while others were neglected by parents playing the games too much themselves.
Now experts are warning parents to look out for signs of gaming addiction, including shutting themselves away and losing interest in friends and other hobbies.
Professor Mark Griffiths, a behavioural addiction specialist from Nottingham Trent University, told the Mirror: ‘This problem is increasing. People are now being taken in to care because of their gaming and I am not surprised.
Children as young as 11 are being taken into care over fears they are addicted to gaming (file photo)
‘What I’m talking about is children mainly between eight and 18. If there is parental responsibility children wouldn’t have unfettered access around the clock.
‘We are talking about gaming that takes over a child’s life to the neglect of all else.’
Professor Griffin says that any parent concerned about their child should get a referral to a clinical psychologist to tackle the problem.
Back in June, it was announced that doctors were set to launch the first NHS internet addiction clinic amid fears over dangerous online video games.
The clinic, which is yet to be approved, would help adults and children with gaming disorders and be run by an NHS foundation trust in London.
The plans were announced after the World Health Organisation classed ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition for the first time.
Data shows that children from Yorkshire, Merseyside, London, Gloucestershire and the Isle of Wight were removed over gaming issues, with some youngsters removed because their parents were neglecting them to play computer games (file photo)