Children could have limits put on their screen time online, says senior minister

Children could have time limits imposed when they are on social media sites, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has suggested.

Saturday, 10th March 2018, 9:50 am
Updated Saturday, 10th March 2018, 10:00 am
PA picture of a child using a laptop computer, as children could have time limits imposed when they are on social media sites, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport has suggested.

Matt Hancock said the negative impact on young people from too much screen time is a "genuine concern".

He said there is more to be done on the issue where children are concerned, suggesting an age-verification system to tackle the problem.

"There is a genuine concern about the amount of screen time young people are clocking up and the negative impact it could have on their lives," he said.

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"For an adult I wouldn't want to restrict the amount of time you are on a platform but for different ages it might be right to have different time cut-offs."

Mr Hancock made the remarks in an interview with The Times.

A small-scale poll by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) recently found most school leaders questioned believed the mental health and wellbeing of pupils had suffered as a result of social media use over the past 12 months.

The Government has said it wants the UK to be "the safest place in the world to be online" and has announced it will introduce a new code of practice this year, setting out the minimum expectations on social media companies.