The screen time debate seems endless. With so many conflicting studies and recommendations, it can be hard to know what’s best. For the first time ever the World Health Organization issued screen time guidelines for kids.

The new guidelines, which are somewhat similar to the recommendations issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, state that kids under five should not spend more than one hour per day watching screens and that kids under one should not have any screen time whatsoever.

photo: StockSnap via Pixabay

Some experts argue that the guidelines don’t take into account the benefits of certain digital media and that WHO is only considering time versus quality of content. “Our research has shown that currently there is not strong enough evidence to support the setting of screen time limits,” said Dr. Max Davie of Britain’s Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health. “The restricted screen time limits suggested by WHO do not seem proportionate to the potential harm.”

WHO didn’t get into the specifics of what harm could be caused by screen time beyond the recommendations, but explained that the guidelines were needed to combat the increasing amount of non-physical behavior among kids. The agency recommends that kids over one year should have at least three hours of physical activity every day.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

featured image: Annie Spratt via Unsplash 


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