Children under the age of two should not watch TV or play on smartphones, nor spend more than an hour at a time strapped in a stroller or on caregiver’s back, according to new physical activity guidelines published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday. The guidelines for children under the age of five years adds weight to a local version published in December, and details how much time very young children should spend sleeping, moving and playing in a 24-hour period. Wits senior researcher Dr Catherine Draper, who was involved in crafting both the local and the WHO guidelines, said the biggest challenge for caregivers in SA was the amount of time young children spent sitting in front of television screens or playing with smartphones and tablets. The WHO says “less is better” when it comes to screen time and that it should ideally only begin at the age of two, and then for no more than an hour a day. The local guidelines express the same view. The habits establishe...

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