For many parents and carers, the use of screentime is invaluable in helping to entertain and educate their children. However, knowing how much time to allow your youngsters to spend on their tablet, TV or computer can be tricky, with reports being published about its negative impact on children’s health.
That is why many people are likely to breath a sigh of relief after the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) released its latest findings, showing there is a lack of evidence linking screentime with poor mental health.
Dr Max Davie, officer for health promotion at the RCPCH, said: “During our research analysis, we couldn’t find any consistent evidence for any specific health or wellbeing benefits of screentime.”
He went on to say that while there are associations between screentime and poor mental health, it is unclear whether “these are causal, or if other factors are causing both negative health outcomes and higher screentimes”.
The organisation published guidance on screentime to help mothers, fathers, and other carers to know how to manage children’s use of technology.
RCPCH recognises that technology is “an integral part of the lives of children and young people”, and it would be hard to cut them off from this entirely.
Dr Davie suggested introducing age appropriate boundaries, consequences for breaking these, and parents reducing their own use of screentime to have a positive influence on their youngsters.
It is no wonder carers might be confused about how much screentime to expose little ones to, as it was only in November that San Diego State University published its findings in Preventative Medicine Reports stating smartphones, TV and tablets could increase anxiety and depression in children as young as two years old.
If you are looking for an au pair in London, it is important to communicate your rules regarding technology usage, so you can be sure your children get the amount of screentime you are happy with.