PARENTS should limit kids to a maximum of two hours of screen time a day in a bid to boost their health, experts say.

Mums and dads are being urged to set an example by cutting back their own use of phones, computers and TVs.

The doctors even suggest banning these devices from bedrooms and at meal times.

Socialising more as a family outdoors can also lead to reduced screen time and provide additional benefits, they add.

A panel of medics from the American Heart Association issued the advice after reviewing existing studies on screen use and health.

They say that youngsters aged eight to 18 now spend more than seven hours a day staring at a screen.

Time spent in front of the television is falling, but it is outweighed by use of phones, tablets and computers for social media, watching videos, playing games and browsing the internet.

This means that more people are leading a sedentary life — which raises the risk of obesity, heart attacks and strokes.

Dr Tracie Barnett, who chaired the panel, said: “When possible, all screen-based activities should be reduced to mitigate risks.

“Passive consumption of screens should be avoided, such as leaving the television on in the background, to avoid normalising this behaviour.

“We advise all children to ‘sit less, play more’.”