Screen time at night can be harmful to children's health, researchers say

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Parents need to moderate the amount of time their children spend in front of screens, particularly at night, as it can have a negative impact on their health, according to researchers.

The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data & Method (WISERD) found "uncontrolled" use of social media at night time had a direct impact on levels of tiredness in school.

Credit: PA

Wales' independent children's commissioner, who is tasked with safeguarding and promoting the rights and welfare of children and young people, added: "Technology has unquestionable benefits, but it should not replace talking, singing, reading and playing with your children."

According to WISERD, here are some things you can do to reduce screen time.

  • · Encourage 'screen-free' times, for example, meal times, family car journeys and one hour before bed

  • · Vary how devices are used, for example, Skype family and friends together; to play a game together; learn a new skill or language together

  • · Talk to your children about the importance of digital safety and awareness of online bullying

One campaign championing the call for ‘responsible’ family screen time this Christmas is the Welsh Government’s ‘Education Begins at Home’campaign which promotes the importance of parental engagement in children’s wellbeing and development.