The World Health Organization (WHO) presented its guidelines on Wednesday, April 24, that babies should spend in front of screens and concluded that children under 5 should spend in front of a screen a day: It is not much, and nothing at all for those who have not yet completed a year.
The United Nations health agency said that children under 5 should not spend more than an hour a day watching screens, and the less time, the better.
The guidelines are somewhat similar to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group recommends avoiding screen exposure to children under 18 months, except in video calls.
He notes that parents of children under 2 should choose “high quality programming” with educational value that can be seen with one of the parents to help their children understand what they are seeing.
Some groups point out that the WHO screen exposure guidelines do not consider the potential benefits of digital media.
The WHO recommendation “concentrates more on exposure and does not take into consideration the content or context of use,” said Andrew Przybylski, research director at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford . “Not all the time on the screen is created in the same way.”
The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health of Great Britain indicated that the available data are not sufficient to allow experts to establish a parameter of the appropriate level of exposure time to screens.
“Our research has shown that there is currently no evidence to support the establishment of limits on screen exposure,” said Dr. Max Davie, head of the Department of Health Improvement. “The restrictions recommended by the WHO do not seem proportional to the potential damages.”
The WHO did not specifically detail the potential harm caused by excessive exposure, but indicated that the guidelines – which also include recommendations for physical activity and hours of sleep – were necessary to address the increase in sedentary cases among the general population.
He stressed that physical inactivity is one of the main risk factors for death and contributes to the increase in obesity rates.
The agency said that babies under 1 year should be on their stomachs at least half an hour a day and that older children should have at least three hours of physical activity per day.
Although the WHO did not specify the potential damage that the exposure to the screens could have, they pointed out that the guidelines include hours of sleep and physical activity, since a sedentary lifestyle must be addressed in the population.
What do you think? Would you leave your baby more than an hour in front of a screen?