The WHO guidelines recommend a limit of one hour sedentary screen time for children between the ages of 2 and 5 although "less is better".
"Sedentary behaviours, whether riding motorized transport rather than walking or cycling, sitting at a desk in school, watching TV or playing inactive screen-based games are increasingly prevalent and associated with poor health outcomes", the WHO said. For two-year-olds, there should me no more than one hour and less is better.
WHO concludes that applying these recommendations during the first five years of life "will contribute to children's motor and cognitive development and lifelong health".
"Achieving health for all means doing what is best for health right from the beginning of people's lives", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. However, both sets of advice did not specify a time children should spend using screens. Children aged one to two years old should spend at least 180 minutes being active and 11 to 14 hours sleeping, the report states.
The guidelines also covered sleep and exercise.
Children under one year old need at least 30 minutes of tummy time and others under five at least 180 minutes of physical activities, says the World Health Organization.
In a report two years ago, the World Health Organization said the number of obese children and adolescents worldwide had jumped tenfold to 120 million in the past 40 years and that the rise was accelerating in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia.
Dr Max Davie, officer for health improvement for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said the guidelines are "useful benchmarks" for families, but warned they should be interpreted with caution. They should also have regular sleep and wake-up times, with 11 to 14 hours of good quality sleep recommended for children between the ages of one and two and 10 to 13 hours of good quality sleep recommended for children between ages three and four.
All children age five and younger should not be restrained or sedentary for more than an hour at a time, whether it be in a stroller, high chair or strapped onto a caregiver's back.
Shorter sleep duration has been associated with more TV viewing and time spent playing computer games, it added.