If you have a teenage then you know they can get completely wrapped up in playing video games and forget everything else. They not only can play against the game itself but these days they can play online against other gamers as well. Competition ensues and the real world is forgotten for hours. As a parent you should be controlling the time your kids are spending playing video games. Here are a few things to keep in mind.There are some major drawbacks to playing video games. Damaged eyesight, headaches and even some cases of epileptic seizures, lack of social skills and of course, addiction.

Damaged eyesight can occur when too much time is spent starring at the TV or computer screen at one time. Make sure your kids are at least 3 feet from the screen when playing and that they are taking breaks throughout their play time.

Headaches/Epileptic Seizures can occur when kids are exposed to too much screen flickering and flashing. With prolonged exposure to the high definition and 3D versions of games and special effects headaches can be a big problem. In some extreme instances those graphics can cause seizures in persons susceptible to having them.

Lack of Social Skills. I've seen this one personally. Kids these days don't know how to interact in social situations. They are closed off to 'real people' and can't seem to make eye contact or have an actual conversation. They withdraw, in some extreme situations, and won't even have anything to do with the real world.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused in part to gaming. We see this syndrome a lot with people whose job consists of typing all day and it is becoming more prevalent in younger persons who are gamers. Carpal tunnel is when nerves in the wrist and hand become irritated and inflamed.

Lack of sleep is also a problem gamers face. With all the stimuli that gamers are exposed to it can cause the brain not shut down properly. Many gamers (or kids during summer) will play for many hours, they are so into the game they forget about the time. I know last summer our teenager would play 'Call of Duty' until 2 or 3 in the morning then want to sleep all day the next day.

Addiction can be the worst of all. You will see changes in your child, withdrawal from friends and family, grades drop etc. It's time to pull the plug and get rid of the gaming system at this point. Don't let your kids play for more than 2 hours at a time and only after their 'real world' chores and activities are done.

It's easy to let the video games be the baby sitter but in the long run it can cause some major problems. They are fun and it's alright to play for awhile but remember to get them out of their dungeons..I mean rooms,  every once in awhile.