The UK Chief Medical Officers have published advice for parents and carers on young people’s screen time and their mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
The report recognises that technology can be a wonderful thing but too much time sitting down or using mobile devices can get in the way of important healthy activities.
The advice includes:
- Sleep matters – Getting enough, good quality sleep is very important. Leave phones outside the bedroom when it is bedtime.
- Safety when out and about – Advise children to put their screens away while crossing the road or doing an activity that needs their full attention.
- Family time together – Screen-free meal times are a good idea – you can enjoy face-to-face conversation, with adults giving their full attention to children.
- Sharing sensibly – Talk about sharing photos and information online and how photos and words are sometimes manipulated. Parents and carers should never assume that children are happy for their photos to be shared. For everyone – when in doubt, don’t upload!
- Keep moving! – Everyone should take a break after a couple of hours sitting or lying down using a screen. It’s good to get up and move about a bit.