The World Health Organization issued guidelines for children under 5, including its first recommendations on how much time children should be spending in front of a digital screen.
Children ages 2 to 4 should have no more than one hour of sedentary screen time, such as playing video games or watching TV, says the WHO report.
It recommends infants get no screen time at all, but instead should be physically active through floor-based play, including at least 30 minutes of tummy time throughout the day for those not yet mobile. Children over a year should be physically active for at least three hours a day, with 3- to 4-year-olds spending at least an hour of that time participating in moderate to vigorous activity.
“Physical inactivity has been identified as a leading risk factor for global mortality and a contributor to the rise in overweight and obesity,” the WHO report says. “Early childhood is a period of rapid physical and cognitive development and a time during which a child’s habits are formed and family lifestyle habits are open to changes and adaptations.”
A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2019 edition of Education Week as Early-Childhood Education