Screen time – how much is too much for children?

Lead psychologist warns parents to watch their own use of technology

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A biologist and Fellow of the British Psychological society said yesterday that parents should “regain control” of their households and restrict their own use of devices such as TVs, mobile phones and iPads because of the impact on their children.

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Talking at a Child Health conference in Glasgow, Dr Aric Sigman said that the amount of time parents spend in front of a screen affects how their children will treat technology.

Warning of the possible links between screen dependency and addiction, Dr Aric said, “Technology should be a tool, not a burden or a health risk.”

Dr Aric also warned that a sedentary lifestyle of excessive screen time increased the risk diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Aric recommended that children under 3 should have no screen time at all and children under 7 be restricted to an hour a day.

A report from the European parliament in 2009, however, concluded that video games in particular teach children important skills such as strategic thinking, creativity, co-operation and innovative thinking, which could help them get a job in the future.

How much screen time do you feel is right for your child? Let us know below…

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