In a new set of guidelines, the World Health Organization said that infants under 1 year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and that children between the ages of 2 and 4 should not have more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” each day.
Limiting, and in some cases eliminating, screen time for children under the age of 5 will result in healthier adults, the organization, a United Nations health agency, announced on Wednesday.
But taking away iPads and other electronic devices is only part of the solution, the researchers said. Children under 5 should also get more exercise and sleep in order to develop better habits that will stave off obesity and diseases in adolescence and adulthood, the guidelines said.
“Achieving health for all means doing what is best for health right from the beginning of people’s lives,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the W.H.O., said in a statement. “Early childhood is a period of rapid development and a time when family lifestyle patterns can be adapted to boost health gains.”