A new report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPH) shines a slightly more positive light in favor of children taking part in digital activities, such as video games. While the institution believes that the use of screens is not inherently dangerous to children, it still recommends setting guidelines and limits.
“There is not enough evidence to confirm that screen time is in itself harmful to child health at any age,” the report started off by saying. As such, there is no cut-and-dry age limit that the institution can recommend. Instead, it’s suggested that parents use the “child’s developmental age, the individual need and value the family place on positive activities” to create screen time guidelines.
Of course, that’s not an excuse to let a child use screens all the time unchecked. The institution stresses that time in front of a screen should not take the place of activities like “socialising, exercise and sleep,” and that a lack of those things could be harmful for a child’s wellbeing. In addition, it’s recommended that children do not use screens about an hour before bed, since screens have been shown to have a negative impact on sleeping.
The debate between how much, if any, time children should be allowed in front of a screen continues to rage on. In an increasingly digital age, many parents have become worried about the potential effects consistent screen use could have on their children. It didn’t help matters when the World Health Organization officially classified gaming addiction as a disorder. Despite defending its choice, many gamers, and even the ESA, have fought back against the decision. This new review isn’t a solid, concrete conclusion on this matter, but it does help put things a little more in perspective.