By the age of seven, a child born today will have spent a full year glued to screens, according to Dr Aric Sigman.
The average 10-year-old has at least five screens readily available to them at home, and over the course of childhood youngsters spend more time watching TV than they spend in school, he said.
Limiting the amount of time children spend in front of a screen could have significant advantages for their health and wellbeing, Dr Sigman said.
The population’s vast use of games consoles, tablet computers, televisions, smart phones and laptops has been linked to obesity problems and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, he warned.
Writing in the Archives Of Disease In Childhood, Dr Sigman said such extensive use could also lead to attention problems and other psychological difficulties. The amount of time spent in front of a screen could also adversely affect children’s social relationships.