RCGP welcomes CMO advice for parents on screen time for children

Publication date: 07 February 2019

Responding to a new report on the impact of screen time on children and advice for parents, published by the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Technology plays a huge role in our everyday lives, and for many children and young people, their entire life has never been accompanied by ready access to a smartphone, computer, or similar device in their pocket.

"These digital advancements can be of great benefit, connecting youngsters to new learning tool, for example, but they can also have a profoundly negative impact and GPs are regularly seeing the adverse effects these devices can have on our patients' health and wellbeing.

"Most often this includes sleep deprivation and fatigue from using phones and tablets before going to bed, but being able to access social media, constantly, can also lead to more serious problems, such as creating anxiety and magnifying feelings of loneliness and poor self-esteem.

"This is a society-wide issue, which we must all take responsibility for if we're to see a real change in how people interact with their phones and similar devices.

"We hope the Chief Medical Officer's guide for parents is useful, and helps them to support their children in redressing the balance between screen time and time with each other."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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