We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Released last month, WHO's guidelines go slightly beyond current screen-time limits recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which says a little "high quality" screen time is OK for kids as young as 18 months.
Instead, the WHO recommends no screen time at all for children under age 2. Similar to the AAP, it also says kids between ages 2 and 5 should not use electronic devices with screens for more than an hour a day. And if they get less screen time than that, even better.
The new recommendations are backed up by research. Some studies have tied excessive screen time to problems such as social, emotional and behavioral difficulties, childhood obesity and poor-quality sleep.
But the main concern behind the guidelines is that kids who spend a lot of time watching TV or swiping on iPads, for example, likely miss out on other activities that are much more important for their long-term health and development: exercise, play, interacting with real people, and sleep.
By limiting screen time and encouraging healthier activities from a young age, families can help set their child up for lifelong good habits and better health, WHO panelists said.
Here are key recommendations by age:
Babies less than 1 year old:
- No screen time -- read books and tell stories during sedentary time instead
- No restraining for more than one hour at a time (such as in a stroller or high chair)
- Lots of interactive play throughout the day, especially on the floor -- babies who can't move themselves yet should get at least 30-minutes of tummy time spread through the day when they're awake
- Newborns to 3 month-olds should get 14 to 17 hours of quality sleep a day, including naps, and 4 to 11-month-olds, need 12 to 16 hours
Children 1 to 2 years old:
- No screen time for kids under 2 years old, and no more than 1 hour a day of screen time once children turn 2
- No restraining for more than one hour at a time (such as in a stroller or high chair) and no sitting for more than one hour
- At least three hours of physical activity spread throughout the day (this includes actively playing, jumping, running around the yard, or spending time at a playground)
- 11 to 14 hours of sleep a day, including naps, and a regular sleep schedule
Children 3 to 4 years old:
- At least three hours of physical activity spread throughout the day, including at least one hour of more vigorous activity such as running, jumping and climbing
- No more than one hour a day of screen time, less is better
- Ten to 13 hours of sleep, including naps
Raising awareness about the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle from a young age is a worthy goal. That said, suggesting a one-hour limit to the time babies and toddlers spend sitting, restrained or otherwise, is almost sure to raise some parents' eyebrows.
our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.