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No sedentary screen time for under twos, WHO says

29/04/2019

No sedentary screen time for under twos, WHO says

For busy parents, occupying their children with a tablet or cell phone for short periods throughout the day provides some much-needed relaxation time. But while it’s often been said that young children shouldn’t spend too much time with their faces glued to screens, a little here and there doesn’t hurt, right?


Well, actually, it might… That’s because the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued new guidelines that state children under two should have zero sedentary screen time (that includes TVs, tablets and video games).


The limit for two- to four-year-olds, the WHO says, should be an hour a day, and less is always better.


In light of the new WHO advice, UK health ministers have said they will not amend their own guidelines, which currently advise no screen time before bedtime, but do not set maximum time limits.


The new WHO guidelines are designed to tackle the practice of giving young children screens for entertainment purposes e.g. handing them a cell phone or sitting them down in front of a TV. The reason for this is to combat childhood inactivity, which can lead to obesity-related ill health and is a leading risk factor for global mortality.

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