‘Stop taking photos and let your children play,’ Danish stress panel urges

'Stop taking photos and let your children play,' Danish stress panel urges
The stress panel's recommendations were Published on Wednesday. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
Children should be left to play in peace without photos being taken of them, says a Danish government panel on stress.

The panel made the recommendation as one of 12 suggestions published Wednesday as part of its work to find ways of reducing stress.

Five other recommendations have also been released previously by the advisory board, including “life management” lessons at schools and colleges. Another recommendation suggested that authorities only send emails to the public during set time periods.

Re-evaluating the growing tendency to photograph everything that happens is another way to help put the brakes on and prevent stress, the panel said on Wednesday.

“Children have the right to play and go about their day in peace at daycare and in public with the constant photographic documentation of what they are doing,” the panel wrote.

That includes photographs taken at daycare centres or schools f post on digital platforms or to send to parents, according to the review.

The practice can distract from more important tasks and create unnecessary stress and concern, in the view of the panel

“The large number of shared photos can put parents who see them in a condition of stress about the child’s situation. Does the child look happy or sad? And why is the child not in more of the pictures?”, the recommendation asks.

Parents should also be able to accept that they cannot always know what their child is doing.

“Children should not be tracked, even though that may seem tempting and ‘caring’. Children also have the right to not be monitored by parents using diverse tracking apps,” the panel writes.

The panel was established last summer with the overall target of making 12 recommendations on how to reduce stress in Denmark.

The Danish Health Authority's (Sundhedsstyrelsen) most recent National Health Profile found that 1 in 4 people in Denmark have high stress levels.

Not all of the recommendations have received government support. Education minister Merete Riisager, in response to a recommendation to scrap Forældreintra, a parents’ digital communication platform linked to schools, said that she did not agree with that course of action.

Minister for health Ellen Trane Nørby welcomed the work of the panel, however.

“The recommendations make several suggestions for early prevention of stress, and these are ideal for taking forward in our ongoing work in this area,” Nørby said in a written comment.

READ ALSO: Lessons should help youngsters cope with stress, Danish panel advises

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