Majority of parents want 30-minute screen time limit for young children

A majority of parents think young kids should have a 30-minute limit on screen time, a new survey finds.

Amid mounting alarm over online harms, research found 60% of parents think under-5s should spend less than half an hour looking at screens per day. One in four (27%) said children under five should be banned from looking at screens completely, while three in five (60%) said they shouldn't have any screen time until they are four-years-old.

The poll of 1,000 Brits for early years charity Kindred² also found a third (36%) of parents admit they spend too much time on their phones or tablets in front of their own children.

majority of parents want 30-minute screen time limit for young children

Actress and campaigner Sophie Winkleman warned of the negative effects of screen time

Actress and campaigner Sophie Winkleman said the impact of the digital world on children needed urgent attention. The Peep Show star said: "The evidence of grave harm is there but the truthful conclusion is kept in the shadows.

"But paediatricians, ophthalmologists, clinical psychologists and teachers all bear witness to the fact too much screen use damages a child’s neurological, emotional and physical health.”

Felicity Gillespie, Director of Kindred², said questioned whether children were missing out on learning through facial expressions, chatting and play due to parents spending too much time looking at their screens.

She said: “We are increasingly seeing a rise in public concern about the impact screens are having on childhood and how we manage our devices must become part of how we view parenting and what that entails.

"Twenty years ago we didn’t have access to cheap smartphones or tablets and I don’t think any harmful impact on early childhood in more recent years has yet been fully assessed.

"I fear this is an issue that will become more of a concern especially as today’s generation grow up themselves to become parents or carers and have become used to spending hours on screens every day.”

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