Infants younger than 1 should not be exposed to any electronic screen, in accordance with the rules released by World Health Organization Wednesday.
The agency, which provided its first guidelines, also said that 2 to 4 children should have at least one hour of "sitting on the screen" – including playing computer games or watching TV – every day. It also emphasizes that these young people need to be physically active and get enough sleep, habits that survive obesity and other illnesses later in life, the WHO said.
"Achieving health for all the best ways to health right from the start of human life," Director-General Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes said in a statement. "Early childhood is a period of rapid development and a time when family life patterns can be adapted to boost health outcomes."
The news was first reported by Reuters.
Babies should not be exposed to everyone's screens and instead take part in interactive floor-based playgrounds, the WHO said. It also recommends that children 1 to 4 years old have at least three hours of physical activity every day.
In total: soak up screens and exchange reading, storytelling, singing and puzzles.
more than 5 million deaths worldwide, in all age groups, a year, according to the WHO. Nearly a quarter of seniors, and 80 percent of young people, are inactive enough – and learn dangerous practices early in life.
Screens may be the main culprit.
"What we really need to do is play back for kids," Juana Willumsen, a WHO expert on childhood obesity and physical activity, said in a statement. "It's about making shifts from sitting around during play, while protecting sleep."
This story will be updated.