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ARTICLES: Young people and social media: Docs examine pitfalls

Tuesday, 27 November 2012




Editor's note: Former CNN correspondent Pat Etheridge is a journalist specializing in children's health and family issues. She previously hosted CNN's "Parenting Today."

(CNN) -- They're called "Generation M2": highly tech-savvy children ages 8 to 18, whose lives are immersed in electronic media.

Now, the nation's top pediatric organization is mobilizing efforts around their well-being.

"As pediatricians who are trying to help children behave in ways that keep them healthy and safe, we have to pay a lot of attention to what's happening in social media," said Dr. David Hill, chairman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on communications and media.

The council led a panel called "Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," at the group's annual conference last month in New Orleans. The goal of the presentation: getting pediatricians current on issues to discuss with young patients during regular wellness checkups.

The American Academy of Pediatrics established the council in 2007 with the recognition that growing media platforms touch on virtually every health concern pediatricians have about young people: aggression, sex, drugs, obesity, self-image and eating disorders, depression and suicide -- even learning disorders and academic achievement.

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