Don’t Get Distracted By Screen Time Worries, Find Amazing Games for Your Children
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), an organisation responsible for the training of specialists in child medicine, has published new guidance for children’s screen use.
Informed by a review of evidence in the BMJ Open medical journal, it stated that, contrary to some news reports, there is not strong evidence that screen time is harmful to health. It went on to say that it was not suggesting setting time limits for children because there was not enough evidence that screen time was harmful.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Max Davie (officer for health promotion for the RCPCH), said phones, computers and tablets were a “great way to explore the world”, but parents sometimes assumed there was something “indefinably wrong” about them. “We want to cut through that and say ‘actually if you’re doing OK and you’ve answered these questions of yourselves and you’re happy, get on and live your life and stop worrying’.
RCPCH published a series of questions to help families make decisions about their screen time use:
- Is your family’s screen time under control?
- Does screen use interfere with what your family want to do?
- Does screen use interfere with sleep?
- Are you able to control snacking during screen time?
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Dr Russell Viner, president of the RCPCH, said that “screens are part of modern life” and “we need to stick to advising parents to do what they do well, which is to balance the risks and benefits.”
As readers of AskAboutGames will know. It’s helpful to ensure you and your children take regular breaks from screens and form healthy habits around a wide range of experiences. This enables them to benefit from the imaginative worlds, characters, adventures and story telling found in video games.
Rather than focusing on limits or bans, parents should be encouraged to engage with this hugely popular and beneficial past time, and enjoy it together as a family. You can discover what other families are playing in our Family Games section, and read in-depth advice about particular games in our Parents’ Guides section. We also highlight critically acclaimed games in our Video Game Awards section.