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Facebook and Instagram are damaging children’s mental health, major study warns

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Social media raises children’s risk of mental health problems by up to half, a major study suggests.

Social media use exposes teenagers to cyber-bullying, harms sleep and stops them exercising, the researchers warn.

Checking Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat weekly means the risk of suffering “psychological distress” is up to 20 per cent.

Logging in as little as four times a day can raise the danger by half again, the study of more than 10,000 children shows.

Teenage girls who check Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat weekly have a 20 per cent risk of psychological distress, it shows.

But for those logging on frequently — four times a day or more — the risk increases to 28 per cent, a rise of 40 per cent.

Boys on social media irregularly have a ten per cent risk of suffering mental health issues.

But it rose to 15 per cent in those who logged on several times a day — a jump of a half.

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