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The World Health Organization releases new screen timing for children

LONDON (AP) – The World Health Organization has issued its first guidance on how much screen time children under 5 are to receive: not so much and not at all for those under 1. Wednesday said that children under 5 should not spend more than one hour to watch screens every day – and the less is better. The guidelines are similar to the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That group recommends children under 18 months should avoid other screens than video chats. It says that parents of young children under two should choose "high-quality programming" with educational value and that can be seen with a parent to help the children understand what they see. Some groups said that the WHO screen timing guidelines failed to consider the potential benefits of digital media. The WHO screen time consultant "focuses on the amount of screen shots and fails to consider the content and user-friendliness," said Andrew Przybylski, research director at Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. "Not all screen time is created equally." The UK's Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health said the available data was too weak to allow experts to set any appropriate level of screen time thresholds. "Our research has shown that there is currently not enough evidence to support the setting of time limits for the screen," said Dr. Max Davie, the college's health improvement officer. "The limited screen time limits proposed by the WHO do not appear to be proportionate to the potential…

LONDON (AP) – The World Health Organization has issued its first guidance on how much screen time children under 5 are to receive: not so much and not at all for those under 1.

Wednesday said that children under 5 should not spend more than one hour to watch screens every day – and the less is better.

The guidelines are similar to the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That group recommends children under 18 months should avoid other screens than video chats. It says that parents of young children under two should choose “high-quality programming” with educational value and that can be seen with a parent to help the children understand what they see.

Some groups said that the WHO screen timing guidelines failed to consider the potential benefits of digital media.

The WHO screen time consultant “focuses on the amount of screen shots and fails to consider the content and user-friendliness,” said Andrew Przybylski, research director at Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University. “Not all screen time is created equally.”

The UK’s Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health said the available data was too weak to allow experts to set any appropriate level of screen time thresholds.

“Our research has shown that there is currently not enough evidence to support the setting of time limits for the screen,” said Dr. Max Davie, the college’s health improvement officer. “The limited screen time limits proposed by the WHO do not appear to be proportionate to the potential damage,” he said.

The WHO did not specifically indicate the potential damage caused by excessive screen time, but said that the guidelines &#821

1; which also included recommendations for physical activity and sleep – were necessary to deal with the increasing number of sedentary behaviors of the public. It is noted that physical inactivity is a leading risk factor for death and contributing to the increase in obesity.

The agency said that children under the age of 1 should spend at least half an hour each day on their stomachs and that older children should receive at least three hours of physical activity each day.


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