Mobile Phones: Children

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure the prevention of smartphone addiction among children.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The protection of children and young people from online risks remains one of this Government's top priorities. As part of its work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, the Government published the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in October 2017 and published its consultation response in May this year.

Many stakeholders highlighted screen time as a concern in their consultation responses. Government has committed to consider this issue as part of work on a joint DCMS/Home Office White Paper on online harms due for publication by the end of the year.

We are also working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Education on their joint Children and Young People's Mental Health Green Paper, published on 4 December 2017. As announced in the green paper, DCMS and DHSC convened a working group comprising social media and technology companies to consider a range of issues, including the impact of screen time on children and young people's mental health. The Chief Medical Officer will also produce a report on the impact that technology has on young people's mental health.

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