The second part of an important consultation on screens and the health of young people will finally be held on Monday, in Quebec, with 18 months late.
This second part was originally scheduled to take place a month after the first, in March 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the government’s plans upside down.
In February 2020, researchers gathered in a forum at the invitation of the Minister for Health, Lionel Carmant, sounded the alarm on the many dangers associated with the overuse of screens among young people.
The list of deleterious effects they identified is long: screens affect eyesight, sleep, weight and language skills.
They increase the risk of developing addiction, anxiety and low self-esteem.
In addition, screens modify the brain, produce dopamine and overstimulate children, who, once in class, no longer know how to be satisfied.
The phenomenon has been compared to that of smoking, which was fully accepted in the 1960s.
Today’s parents are “helpless” and “confused”, noted the researchers, who also invited schools to think about the screen time they allow for students.
This was before the COVID-19 pandemic blew up screen time.
On Monday, the minister will conclude the consultation with representatives of health and education, as well as the community.
The day will be divided into four blocks of exchanges:
– How to support young people and supervise their use of screens so as to reduce the harm associated with health;
– When the use of screens is beneficial to us;
– Issues related to the management of screen time according to age groups;
– How to find or regain balance.
All of this will be used to develop the first Strategy on the use of screens and the health of young people.