New sleep, physical activity and screen time guidelines for children under 5 recommended by World Health Organization

New activity and sleep guidelines for young children

(CNN) – For the greatest health benefits, how much play time, screen time and sleep should your baby or young child have in a given day?

The World Health Organization, the United Nations’ public health agency, has released its first set of guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep for children under the age of 5.

"We haven't previously had recommendations for under 5," said Juana Willumsen, an expert in WHO's Department of the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, who contributed to the development of the new guidelines.

According to the guidelines, infants under a year old should get 12 to 17 hours of quality sleep in a 24-hour period, and be physically active several times a day, including 30 minutes of tummy time if they aren’t mobile yet.

No screen time is recommended for infants.

The guidelines stress that infants shouldn’t be restrained in a stroller or strapped to a caregiver for more than an hour at a time.

For 1- to 2-year-olds, sleep can drop to between 11 and 14 hours, and they should get at least 180 minutes of physical activity every day. Once they hit 2, no more than an hour of screen time is recommended.

It’s recommended that 3- to 4-year-olds should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep and 180 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 60 minutes of which should be moderate to vigorous.

No more than one hour of screen time is recommended for this group.

The new guidelines are based on a systematic review of scientific evidence in published studies regarding the health benefits of physical activity, sleep and limiting time spent staring at screens among infants and young children.

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