Quantcast

WHO: Don't Expose Babies to Electronic Screens

Health + Wellness
Thanasis Zovoilis / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Infants less than a year old should not be exposed to electronic screens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.


Issuing its first such guidelines, the United Nations health agency said that older children, aged two to four, should be limited to one hour per day sedentary screen time.


The guidelines also covered sleep and exercise. Among the findings were that:

  • Infants under one should interact in floor-based play — or "tummy time" — for at least an hour each day and avoid all screens.
  • Children between one and four should spend at least three hours in a variety of physical activities spread across the day, with no more than an hour of screen time.
  • Children shouldn't be restrained in a pram or high chair, or strapped to someone's back, for more than an hour at a time.

The WHO said under-fives should be physically active and getting plenty of sleep, and that this would establish healthy habits through adolescence and into adulthood.

"Healthy physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep habits are established early in life, providing an opportunity to shape habits through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood," the WHO stated in the guidelines to member states.

Sedentary screen time includes watching television or videos, and playing computer games.

Being inactive is a "leading risk factor" for mortality, and is fueling a global rise in overweight and obesity, the agency said. Being excessively overweight can lead to diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer.

In a report from 2017, the WHO said the number of obese children and adolescents globally had skyrocketed tenfold to 120 million inside the past 40 years. It added that the rise was accelerating in low- and middle-income nations, especially in Asia.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Fresno, California, seen above, is receiving $66 million for walking trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and more. DenisTangneyJr / iStock / Getty Images

Grecia Elenes grew up in Fresno, California. She says some parts of the city have been neglected for decades. When she moved back after college she realized nothing has changed.

Read More
People are seen embracing at Numeralla Rural Fire Brigade near the scene of a water tanker plane crash on Jan. 23 in Cooma, Australia. Three American firefighters have have died after their C-130 water tanker plane crashed while battling a bushfire near Cooma in southern NSW this afternoon. Jenny Evans / Getty Images

Three U.S. firefighters gave their lives battling Australia's historic wildfires Thursday when their airborne water tanker crashed.

Read More
Sponsored
The Doomsday Clock is now at 100 seconds to midnight. EVA HAMBACH / AFP via Getty Images
The Doomsday Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, partly because of the climate crisis.
Read More
A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More