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Don’t take phones to bed, health boss tells children

Children should leave their mobile phones outside their bedrooms and parents should enforce screen-free mealtimes, the first official guidance on young people’s use of social media recommends.

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said that children should take a break from phones and tablets every couple of hours, be cautious about sharing photos, and be sure to get enough sleep. Parents should take a “precautionary approach” even though there was no clear evidence that screens or social media harmed young people, she said.

The tech giants must do more to enforce age limits and prevent “normalisation” of self-harm and bullying, Professor Davies said as she called for a legal duty of care on the industry.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, asked Professor Davies to…

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