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No sedentary screen time for babies, WHO says

Babies and toddlers should not be left to passively watch TV or other screens, according to new Worl..

Babies and toddlers should not be left to passively watch TV or other screens, according to new World Health Organization guidelines.

Sedentary screen time, including computer games, should not happen before a child is two, the WHO says.

The limit for two- to four-year-olds is an hour a day and less is better.

The UK has no plans to update its own advice on screen use, which sets no time limits, although it says children should avoid screens before bedtime.

The UK's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health insists there is little evidence screen use for children is harmful in itself.

The new WHO advice focuses on passive viewing – youngsters being placed in front of a TV or computer screen or handed a tablet or mobile phone for entertainment – and is aimed at tackling child inactivity, a leading risk factor for global mortality and obesity-related ill health.

It is the first time the WHO has made recommendations on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under five.

As well as warning against passive screen time, it says babies should not spend longer than an hour at a time strapped into a buggy, car seat or sling.

The guidelines will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow on Sunday.

The advice

For babies:

  • Be physically active several times a day, including at least 30 minutes' "tummy time" – lying on their front
  • No sedentary screen time
  • 14-17 hours' sleep a day, including naps, for newborns – reducing to 12-16 by four to 11 months
  • Should not be restrained (ie strapped into a recliner, seat or sling) for more than an hour at a time

For one- and two-year-olds:

  • At least three hours' physical activity a day
  • No sedentary screen time for one-year-olds and less than an hour for two-year-olds
  • 11-14 hours' sleep a day, including naps
  • Should not be restrained for more than an hour at a time or sit for extended periods of time

For three- and four-year-olds:

  • At least three hours' physical activity a day, including at least one of moderate or vigorous intensity
  • Up to an hour of sedentary screen time – less is better
  • 10-13 hours' sleep a day, which may include a nap
  • Should not be restrained for more than an hour at a time or sit for extended periods of time

The WHO advice is based on available evidence, but there is still a lack of definitive research into the harms and possible benefits of screen use.

However, it was unlikely very young children gained from passive, sedentary viewing, said one of the guideline authors, Dr Juana Willumsen.

"Sedentary time should be made into quality time. Reading a book with your child, for example, can help them develop their language skills.

"A child who is given a tablet to keep them quiet while they are sitting in a pushchair is not getting the same [quality sedentary time].

"Children need to be given opportunities throughout the day to actively play and we should be reducing sedentary, passive screen time," she said.

Some TV programmes that encouraged young children to move about while viewing might be OK, she added, particularly if the parent or caregiver was also present to explain and join in.

What do other experts think?

In the US, experts say children should not use screens before they are 18 months old.

In Canada, screen time for children younger than two is not recommended.

But UK guidelines set no such limit.

Dr Max Davie, from the RCPCH, said: "The restricted screen time limits suggested by the WHO do not seem proportionate to the potential harm.

"Our research has shown that currently there is not strong enough evidence to support the setting of screen time limits.

"It is difficult tRead More – Source

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I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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Health

I lost my arms and legs – stop it happening to others

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his fac..

A man who woke from a coma to discover both his arms and legs had been amputated and part of his face removed has called for mandatory training on sepsis for NHS staff.

Sepsis, or blood poisoning, is a serious complication of an infection, which can have devastating consequences if not treated quickly.

There were delays in spotting Tom Ray's sepsis.

He says a commitment is needed to avoid more tragedies.

Tom's story

Tom Ray was fit and healthy and living in Rutland in the East Midlands before he contracted sepsis at the age of 38 in 1999.

He had had a successful career in corporate banking and was in the process of setting up a business with his pregnant wife, Nic, when he fell ill.

His sepsis – thought to be caused by a cut to his gum during a trip to the dentist, combined with a chest infection – came on rapidly and led to vomiting and a high temperature.

But it took five hours at the hospital he was admitted to before the condition was diagnosed.

He spent months in a coma, during which time his wife Nic gave birth to their second child, Freddy.

His recovery has been a long and gruelling process, involving years of plastic surgery. (more…)

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Health

NHS ‘should not prescribe acne drug’

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling f..

The parents of young people who have killed themselves and patients unable to have sex are calling for the NHS to stop prescribing acne drug Roaccutane.

Ed Henthorn said it had caused him erectile dysfunction, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.

And one man who believes his son killed himself after taking the drug said the risks "are just too high".

Manufacturer Roche said "millions of patients worldwide have benefited from taking the drug".

The majority of those who take the drug have a positive experience.

'Pretty overwhelming'

"I used to think about girls… but my feelings, thoughts, just faded away," Ed Henthorn told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He was 19 when he took Roaccutane. He describes his acne as mild but bad enough to want to treat.

After three weeks he started to experience side-effects, including reduced energy and sex drive.

Then he experienced erectile dysfunction.

"That was why I decided to stop taking it," he said. (more…)

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