France releases guide for parents after report highlights the dangers of excessive screen use

In light of a new report that has linked screen use to rising rates of depression, obesity, anxiety and poor sleep in children, the French government has released a guide for parents that advises limits on screen time for all ages groups. 

The average two-year-old spends an hour watching television or using a handheld device every day. This increases to around an hour and a half for children aged three, with screen use continuing to increase incrementally until the teenage years, when as much as nine hours of screen time a day is common.  

The French government recently released the findings of a new report commissioned through the Screens Commission, and its contents make a worrying read.

The report links excessive screen use to a range of issues, such poor physical health due to overly sedentary lifestyles, lack of proper sleep, obesity, vision problems, depression and anxiety.  

The study has prompted the French government to compile a guide for parents and children regarding screen use, which includes recommended daily limits on exposure to screens.  

According to the guide, children under the age of three should not be watching or using screens in any instance. Screen use is not recommended for children under six either, but if this age group is watching television or using a phone or tablet, the government recommends that this is done in the company of an adult and the content should be educational in nature. Screen use should be moderated for children over the age of six.  

“Our children need to play, they need adults to forget about their phones to give them time, they need dialogue with grown-ups and find them to be available, at home, in parks, during their activities, in cities as well as in the countryside,” counsels the report.  

For more information on the guide and its recommendations, click here.


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Photo source: Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash