Psychiatrists are being urged to ask children with mental health issues how long they spend online and what they use social media for.
Questions about technology should be a routine part of assessments, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says.
It paid particular attention to how time spent online impacts on mood, sleep, diet and behaviour.
The government is expected to announce plans to regulate social media companies soon.
The College’s advice comes as evidence grows of a possible link between harmful content or time spent online, and poor mental health.
It is planning to publish a report later this year about its posture on technology use and children’s mental health, which will include recommendations for mothers, children and doctors.
When assessing children, psychiatrists are being advised to think about 😛 TAGEND harmful content, especially material which could impact on an existing mental illness, such as self-harm photos or images which promote eating disorder how problematic technology use could be related to problems with sleep, poor academic performance, low mood and behavioural or eating difficulties how conditions such as depression or eating disorders may build children more likely to expend too long online or utilize technology in a way that is harmful