Developmental delay, anxiety, depression, addiction, insomnia, migraine… Overconsumption of screens is bad for children’s health. However, the little French are watching them more and more.
- In France, children are experiencing an increase in the use of all screens (except for the video game console).
- Among these connected digital tools, the smartphone is the big leader both in terms of equipment (94% of households equipped) and use (91%).
Early childhood professionals keep hammering it home: no screen for three years. Yet, according to a new Ipsos poll for Unaf and Open, 43% of French children aged 0 to 2 already use the Internet! 26% of babies watch short videos, 24% TV series and 22% movies.
Headaches and difficulty sleeping
Another lesson from the survey: the health crisis has accelerated the growth of screen time within families. Children are thus receiving their first digital device at an increasingly young age (10.3 years on average). 44% of parents and 53% of children also say that their screen consumption has increased since the start of the health crisis, and for 70% of adults, “these developments are likely to last over time”.
However, the Ipsos survey shows that the French are aware that excessive screen consumption is a problem. 77% of parents believe they spend too much time in front of their screens, and 56% believe that the Internet is both a risk and an opportunity for their children. Among the dangers cited are addiction (51%), cyberbullying (49%) and contact with strangers (43%). Children, for their part, express their “digital experience” through health issues such as headaches (43%) or difficulty falling asleep (42%).
Parents also say that the rules to limit screen time are increasingly difficult to maintain in their homes: 41% struggle to set an example by reducing their own screen time (+13 points vs 2019 ), and 42% find it difficult to limit their children’s screen time (+7 points vs 2019).
As a result, many say they need help: nearly 1 in 2 French people do not feel supported or not sufficiently supported to regulate the consumption of television, tablets, computers or smartphones.