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Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task?

Advising on screen time in Australia: Is the evidence up to the task? (Parenting for a Digital Future)
How do the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s new screen time guidelines sit with the latest research about screen time? In this blog Jane Mavoa highlights the problems around a lac…
Screens’ have been part of children’s lives for well over half a century, and we have been asking questions about their effects for just as long. The types of problems mentioned in guidelines in Australia and elsewhere, are not new, with many often mentioned in ‘limitations’ sections of published research.

Surely it is time to move on from acknowledging, then ignoring, the significant limitations that studies have in their ability to answer questions about the complex relationships between children and screen-based media. There is a need to Include knowledge from a broader range of fields that would help fill the gaps currently left by the medical and epidemiological literature.

At stake is a clearer pathway to robust evidence bases likely to produce more meaningful and, ultimately, better quality guidance for parents and others involved in raising children with a digital future in mind.

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