No Passive Screen Time For Babies, Warns WHO
All parents have moments in which their busy lives take over and they resort to putting their little one in front of the television for some much needed respite.
But now the World Health Organization has released new guidelines warning parents that babies and toddlers should not be left to passively watch TV or other screens before they are two.
The new WHO advice focuses on passive viewing – small children being placed in front of a TV or computer screen or handed a tablet or mobile phone for entertainment - and is aimed at tackling child inactivity, a leading risk factor for global mortality and obesity-related ill health.
It is the first time the WHO has made recommendations on physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep for children under five. As well as warning against passive screen time, it says babies should not spend longer than an hour at a time strapped into a buggy, car seat or sling.
The WHO guidelines for babies suggest:
• Physically activity several times a day, including at least 30 minutes' "tummy time"
• No sedentary screen time
• 14-17 hours’ sleep a day, including naps, for newborns - reducing to 12-16 by four to 11 months
• Maximum one hour of being strapped into a recliner, seat or sling
For one- and two-year-olds the WHO recommends: ·
• At least three hours' physical activity a day
• No sedentary screen time for one-year-olds and less than an hour for two-year-olds
• 11-14 hours' sleep a day, including naps
• Should not be restrained for more than an hour at a time or sit for extended periods of time