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Scientists in the UK didn’t find any evidence that sitting in front of a screen is damaging for children

6 jan, 2019

Members of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) have published research about the time children spend using mobile devices and computers. Along with the research, the authors of the work offered recommendations to parents.

According to the study, there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that time spent before screens is harmful in itself for children, regardless of their age.

Whilst the researchers didn’t set time limits, they did advise parents to set limits depending on individual needs and the child’s age.

Moreover, the authors of the report recommended that parents monitor whether sitting in front of the computer or smartphone has a negative impact on socialisation, physical activity and sleep.

Parents are also advised to pay attention to the age ratings that games and video content are assigned by specially appointed commissions.

There are also some more concrete recommendations in the report.

Firstly, the researchers note that children should take a break from all sorts of screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

Secondly, the authors of the report note that parents should check whether children are overeating when sat on the computer or behind a smartphone.

According to research which the pediatricians make reference to: mobile and home-based devices account for poor sleep patterns for 88% of children, since they spend an average of 90 minutes on their devices before going to sleep.

Dr. Max Davie from the College remarked that the effect of the time spent in front of screens hasn’t been sufficiently studied.

So far, researchers haven’t found anything to suggest that device usage is beneficial or harmful.

There are negative associations, however, between being behind screens and psychological problems, sleep and physical health, yet the health professionals didn’t find any direct link about -- extended time staring at screens and worsening health may well be down to other external factors.