Medication for behavioural problems in children 'a cause for concern'

It is a cause for concern that children as young as four are being given medication for behavioural problems, it has been claimed.

Speaking on behalf of the British Psychological Society, Professor Peter Kinderman, Chartered Psychologist and Chair of the Society's Division of Clinical Psychology, supported calls for a review of the practice, which is in breach of NHS guidelines.

The expert was commenting in response to an article in the Guardian, which found youngsters were being given Ritalin-style drugs to control their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

He explained that many psychologists are concerned at the use of psychiatric and medical diagnoses in cases concerning shyness and mild social anxiety, "not only because of doubts about the validity of many of the diagnostic approaches, but because of the possible adverse effects".

Earlier in the month, Dr Pat Spungin claimed playing video games can help bring parents and their children closer together, with many titles designed to be enjoyed by the whole family.