The World Health Organization Recommends No More than One Hour of Screen Use Per Day for Most Children Under the Age of Five
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization announced guidelines for children under the age of five on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep, including its first guidance on how much time toddlers should spend in front of a digital screen.
According to the WHO research, children aged 2 to 4 should have no more than one hour of sedentary screen usage each day, such as playing video games or watching TV.
According to the recommendations, infants under one year old should not be restricted for more than an hour at a period, even in a stroller or high chair, and should not have any screen time at all.
Instead, newborns should be physically active through floor-based play, which should include at least 30 minutes of tummy time each day for those who are not yet mobile. Children over the age of one should be physically active for at least three hours each day, with 3- to 4-year-olds engaging in moderate to strenuous exercise for at least an hour of that time.
The WHO guidelines are similar to those issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2016, which discourage electronic media use for children under 18 months of age and limit screen time for children ages 2 to 5 to one hour per day of high-quality programming.
According to the WHO research, "physical inactivity has been highlighted as a key risk factor for global mortality and a contributor to the rise in overweight and obesity." "Early infancy is a period of fast physical and cognitive growth, as well as a time when a child's habits and family living patterns are subject to modifications and adaptations."
Previous research has connected childhood and teenage screen use to premature cortical thinning and poor cognitive performance.
According to a poll of over 500 administrators and school officials conducted by Education Week Research Center, 95% are concerned that children spend too much time on gadgets while they are not in school.
Furthermore, while schools have seen an increase in digital device usage in the classroom, principals disagree on whether such technology use is sufficient or excessive. While 22 percent of elementary school principals believe students spend too much time in school on devices with screens, 23 percent of high school principals believe students spend too much time in school on devices with screens.