One hour per day before the age of 6 and a maximum of two for school-age children. No smartphones or tablets at all before 18 months. Never at the table, during meals, or before bedtime. The use of digital devices should be managed by teaching people about “critical and responsible” use. This is just some of the advice contained in the “decalogue for digital health” of children and teens, drawn up by specialists at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital as part of the “A scuola di... digitale” project, carried out in collaboration with professionals from Almaviva, a leading Italian group in the field of digital innovation. The objective is to promote greater awareness and a better understanding of the possibilities that digital tools offer and to minimize the potential risks of excessive and unfiltered use.
The project, sponsored by the Institute for Child and Adolescent Health in collaboration with Almaviva, offers a series of online educational videos that explain how to balance the use of tablets and smartphones during the various stages of a minor’s life, how these devices can provide support to children and teens with learning disabilities, and the potential consequences for eyesight as a result of prolonged exposure to screens, as well as how social media channels followed by children work and what the metaverse and artificial intelligence are. The “Decalogue for the Digital Health of Children and Teens” concisely answers many of the most common questions that parents have, suggesting a conscientious and constructive approach.