CHILDREN hooked on computer games such as Nintendo should wear eyepatches to avoid any risk of epileptic attack, according to an epilepsy specialist.

Computer games, which now make up half the British toy market, are being investigated by the Department of Trade following fears that they may trigger epileptic fits. Three children reportedly suffered seizures over Christmas.

Frank Besag, medical director of St Piers school, Lingfield, Surrey, which specialises in treating epilepsy sufferers, says in the New Scientist that the vast majority of cases where fits occur depend on stimulation coming through both eyes, so he advises children using the games to cover one eye.

He says it is unlikely that seizures would be triggered in children who do not have a predisposition to epilepsy. Children who play the games with hand-held liquid crystal display screens rather than television sets are probably safe from ill effects, he adds.