Don’t let screen time get in the way of family time, exercise and sleep, doctors warn

Doctors have issued the UK’s first ever guidance on children’s screen time.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) recommends that children should not watch television or go online for at least an hour before bedtime.

It advises that families should negotiate screen time limits with children based on their developmental age and individual needs, the ways in which screens are used and the degree to which technology displaces other activities. When screen time gets in the way of socialising, exercise and sleep, for instance, evidence suggests there is a risk to child wellbeing.

The guide, entitled The health impacts of screen time: A guide for clinicians and parents, includes a series of questions to help families make decisions about screen time use. These include: Is screen time in your household controlled? Does screen use interfere with what your family want to do? Does screen use interfere with sleep?

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