Most preschool-age children exceed daily screen time recommendations

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WASHINGTON - A new study suggests most preschool-age children exceed daily screen time recommendations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents limit combined screen time from television, DVDs, computers, and video games to 2 hours per day for preschool-age children.

In a study, researchers found that many children are exposed to screen time both at home and while at childcare, with 66pc exceeding the recommended daily amount.

“A majority of children under the age of 5 years in the United States spend almost 40 hours a week with caregivers other than their parents, and it’s important to understand what kind of screen time exposure children are getting with these other caregivers,” said Dr. Pooja Tandon.

Dr. Tandon and fellow researchers from the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington studied nearly 9000 preschool-age children who took part in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-b), a longitudinal, observational study of over 10,000 children born in 2001 with diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

The ECLS-b used interviews with parents and child care providers to collect data about each child’s daily screen time.

On average, children were exposed to 4 hours of screen time each weekday, with 3.6 hours of exposure coming from home. Children in home-based child care spent a combined average of 5.6 hours watching television or videos at home and while at child care, with 87pc exceeding the 2 hour recommendation.

Center-based childcare scored slightly better, with children watching an approximate total of 3.2 hours each weekday at home and while at childcare.

Children who did not go to childcare also tended to exceed the recommendations, however, with the average child watching 4.4 hours a day.

The study is to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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