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Study: 86% of parents say their children play too many video games

Experts say there's no magic number as to figuring out how much time playing is too much.

NEW YORK — The video game industry is growing and so is the amount of time kids are spending with a controller in their hands.

86% of parents say their teenager plays video games too much, according to a new survey from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.  About half say their child plays 3 hours a day or more.

Dr. Gary Freed from C.S. Mott Children's Hospital says, "Like anything for teens, there needs to be respectful and healthy limits."  Dr. Freed says excessive gaming can have real consequences. "Video games may interfere with sleep, they may interfere with interactions with family members and homework as well." According to Dr. Freed, "If gaming gets in the way of sleep it can have a lot of issues related to disturbed moods because of sleep deprivation." 

The survey found boys are much more likely than girls to play every day. But how much time is too much? Experts say there's no magic number. 

Dr. Freed advises parents, "If they're going to try and limit the amount of time their teens spend gaming, [they] need to make sure they communicate well with their teen about why they think that's important."  He adds, "another strategy parents can consider is to play some games with their teen."  Dr. Freed says that can help parents better understand the games their kids are playing and hopefully have some fun in the process.

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