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“The proposed law on children’s exposure to screens risks becoming a ‘law of good conscience'”


IBill No. 757 on the prevention of excessive exposure of children to screenspresented in January by MPs Caroline Janvier and Aurore Bergé, with other members of the Renaissance group or relatives [et transmise au Sénat le 8 mars], meets the expectations of many parents. It rightly targets 0-6 year olds, who are the most vulnerable and whose consumption at this age would increase the risk of subsequent excessive use of digital tools. Some of its proposals fall under the authority of the State, such as the obligation to include warning messages on the packaging and advertising of digital products or the insertion of recommendations in the pregnancy notebook on proper use. screens.

On the other hand, others will depend on the goodwill of the structures to which the law refers. This is particularly the case for the municipalities, who are responsible for organizing extracurricular times, in particular the famous meridian breaks. These are too often occupied by screen time that educators organize using videos that they bring home from home and of which they sometimes only show young children the first part, given the time available.

It is essential to train educators in collective games so that they are less inclined to put children in front of a screen as soon as it rains, to strengthen regional image education centers and to create a shared platform on which short films would be available with an indication of age, so as to allow the people responsible for the meridian breaks to obtain quality films corresponding to the comprehension capacities of the children for whom they are intended.

If there is no good screen before 3 years (except for accompanied use), it is indeed different between 3 and 6 years. But it is true that all of this implies considering screens other than as potentially toxic products and taking into account their content and their support. However, it is precisely on these points that this proposal proves to be the most problematic.

Read Caroline Janvier’s column: Article reserved for our subscribers “Children’s overexposure to screens could be the evil of the century”

First of all, the various screens are treated indiscriminately and considered only from the point of view of their duration of use. However, all the experts today agree on one point: if the time spent on the screens is the least bad possible criterion for problematic use, it is at the same time a very bad criterion. In other words, it is essential to take into account each time the possibility of support, the interactive or non-interactive nature of the medium, and the content more or less adapted to the age of the user. Moreover, the isolated effect of screens on development diminishes when we take into account the lack of access to toys, hobbies, outdoor equipment, and the lack of people available, physically or mentally, for interactions.

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