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Early years

04th Nov 2017

Children now ‘nearly born with iPad in hand’ says Health Minister

He wants kids to be more active.

The Health Minister has weighed in on the screen time debate.

Minister Simon Harris yesterday complained that modern kids are “nearly being born with an iPad in their hand.”

“I know myself growing up, as one of our younger politicians, so it’s not that long ago, growing up we were much more active,” he said.

“We were still going outside more.

“We were playing the typical games people play in their housing estates and on their greens and in their sports clubs and now… children are nearly being born with the iPad in their hand and more and more time is being spent looking at the screen.”

He was speaking at the launch of a HSE and Safefood campaign to promote nutrition and exercise in children.

“There are very simple things that we can all do as part of society to help get our children out in the air more, to help them exercise more, that will really stand to them and stand to society in terms of health and wellbeing,” said Mr Harris.

Getting young children away from phones, tablets and other screens has become one of the biggest parenting issues of recent years.

Research has shown that too much screen time can have a widespread effect on children’s health, impacting on things like speech development and sleep.