Keep mobile devices and screens out of kids’ bedrooms, say UK health officials

A new rally against the overuse of screens and digital media by children has been sounded by four of the UK’s chief medical officers.

A ban should be placed on the use of mobile phones and devices from the dinner table and bedtimes as part of a new healthy approach for children. It has been added that children should also take a break from screen-based activities every two hours.

It has all been issued as part of new guidance from health officials who have said that technology companies must do more to keep children safe from the overuse of platforms such as social media that has been linked to cases of self-harm among children.

England’s health secretary, Matt Hancock is set to meet bosses at Instagram over the handling of self-harm and suicide content.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer and the lead for the UK, said that a review of evidence had not proven a clear link between screen-based activities and mental health problems and that digital technologies could be a force for good in aiding online learning, socialising and helping other people manage health conditions.

The guidance however has suggested that mobile devices should be banned from the dinner table, kept out of bedrooms at bedtime and breaks from screen time should be implemented every two hours.

Dame Sally has said that a code of conduct is definitely needed.

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