Monday 21 August 2017

Over 50pc of children have more than two hours of screen time per day at weekends

Over 50pc of children have more than two hours of screen time per day at weekends. Stock Image
Over 50pc of children have more than two hours of screen time per day at weekends. Stock Image

Ellie Donnelly

An Irish education technology start-up has confirmed the high-internet usage period in Ireland among young children.

“We know from our 2016 survey of 4,400 primary school children in Ireland that 54pc of them are having more than two hours screen time per day at weekends,” Joe Kenny, Zeeko, founder and CEO, said.

The comments come following the publication of a World Health Organisation report which has suggested that a dramatic rise in the use of computers and social media is wreaking havoc on the health of young people.

The WHO Report, ‘Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002-2014’ is based on the results of surveys sent to over 200,000 children in 42 countries.

Zeeko has said that eduction is key to promoting a healthy balance for children in using computers and social media.

“We need to invest and develop positive behaviours among primary school children in order alleviate the impact of excessive internet and technology use among teenagers,” Kenny said.

Zeeko, founded by Joe Kenny in 2013, is headquartered at the centre for new ventures and entrepreneurs at UCD and is an Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up company.

The company recently received EU funding to evaluate the side effects of virtual reality technology on young people in the areas of education, environment behaviour, empathy and health.

Between July 2016 and June 2017 Zeeko will deliver internet safety seminars in primary schools, secondary schools and companies to over 60,000 pupils, 2,900 teachers and 6,000 parents.

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