London: Worried for your child's obsession for Internet and social networking sites? You are not alone, researchers say.

According to a British study, a third of all parents in the country think Internet is a danger for their kids while 80 per cent believe their children are getting addicted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The study, commissioned by Internet charity the Nominet Trust, also found that a third of parents even believe that Internet can "rewire" a person's brain, a daily reported.

The Nominet Trust, however, said there is no evidence that social networks are harmful in themselves, and that there is no neurological evidence of the web changing brains.

Facebook and Twitter, they suggested, usually in fact reinforce existing friendships, while even playing video games has been show to improve coordination and "visual processing skills".

Critics such as Baroness Susan Greenfield have called in the past for more rigorous examination of the effect growing up with the internet can have on children, but not studies have yet provided conclusive evidence of any harmful side effects. Treatments for so-called internet addiction are now also offered around the world.

Annika Small, Director of the Nominet Trust, said: "The trust believes in the internet as a force for social good. Exaggerated fears about internet use can potentially deny its benefits to those most in need.

"I want to see a proper debate amongst policy makers, based on accurate research, about the effects of using interactive technologies on young people's brains, behaviours and attitudes, without resorting to scaremongering that parents are being subjected to on regular basis."

The study also suggested, however, that 61 per cent of parents distrust positive stories about the internet, believing them to be funded by interested parties.

(Agencies)