The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has published guidance for clinicians and parents on screen time use and the effects of screen time on children and young people. A systematic review of evidence found that children with higher screen time tend to have: a less healthy diet, a higher energy intake, and more pronounced indicators of obesity; more depressive symptoms, although it has been found by some studies that some screen time is better for mental health than none at all. Recommendations include: avoid screens an hour before the planned bedtime; families should negotiate screen time limits with their children based upon the needs of an individual child.
Source: RCPCH Date: 4 January 2019
Further information: The health impacts of screen time: a guide for clinicians and parents (PDF)
Read more on NSPCC Learning: Keeping children safe online - online course
YUBO – the dangers
Experts fear a popular mobile app being dubbed “Tinder for teens” is being exploited by sex offenders to contact children as young as 10.
Yubo, which was previously known as Yellow, is a free-to-download mobile phone app, and describes itself as "a social app to meet new friends and have fun with them".
Just like adult dating app Tinder, Yubo allows user to connect with others based on their location.
Users can swipe left or right to accept or decline an invitation to chat. If there’s a match, they can exchange messages, photos and video chats with them and even add them as a friend on Snapchat or follow them on Instagram. Even if they don’t know each other.
What’s more, is the app also syncs with Snapchat, meaning users can livestream themselves to anyone watching.
It is growing in popularity among school-age teens who use it to chat and send pictures to friends and strangers.
With over 15 million users, the app is one of the most popular among teenagers and pre-teens and is available for both Apple and Android smartphones
Parents are advised that the recommended age for downloading this app is 17+