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Screentime and child health

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The media are obsessed with the issue of 21st century children spending too much time staring at screens: some reports have amounted to a moral panic (www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/26/two-hours-screentime-day-could-damage-childrens-brain-development). The release of a statement from the UK’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) was therefore welcome (rcpch.ac.uk/resources/health-impacts-screen-time-guide-clinicians-parents). It was based on a systematic ‘review of reviews’ which synthesised the large amount of evidence available (Stiglic N, Viner R. doi: 10. 1136/bmjopen- 2018–0 23 191). Rather than go back to the primary data, they identified 13 reviews of varying quality that had already done this. They assessed each review’s conclusions qualitatively, rather than doing further meta-analyses. Screentime use included television (TV), computers, tablets and smartphones. …

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