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Study Finds Children Log Excessive Screen-Time

A study conducted by the University at Albany, the National Institutes of Health and New York University Langone Medical Center found that the average time children spend in front of screens greatly exceeds recommendations from the American Pediatric Academy.

Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study found that the average time children spend in front of screens increased from 53 minutes at 12 months per day to more than 150 minutes at 3 years . The American Pediatric Academy recommends that digital media exposure should be avoided for children under 18 months of age, introduced slowly to children 18 to 24 months of age and limited to an hour a day for children from 2 to 5 years of age.

Additional findings include:

  • 87 percent of children had screen time exceeding recommendations from the American Pediatric Academy.
  • Children were more likely to be in the highest percentile of screen time exposure if their parents had only a high school diploma or equivalent (more than twice as likely) or were children of first-time mothers (almost twice as likely).
  • Compared to single-born children, twins were more likely to belong to the highest screen time group.
  • Children in home-based care, whether provided by a parent, babysitter or relative, were more than twice as likely to have high screen time than those in center-based care.
  • While screen time increased throughout toddlerhood, by age 7 and 8, screen time fell to under 1.5 hours per day. The researchers believe this is due to time consumed by school-related activities.

Researchers analyzed data from the Upstate KIDS study. Upstate KIDS, an ongoing cohort-based study co-led by Erin Bell, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UAlbany’s School of Public Health.

For this particular study, mothers of nearly 4,000 Upstate KIDS participants responded to questions on their children’s media habits when they were 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of age, and then to similar questions when the children were 7 and 8 years old. The study compiled additional demographic information on the mothers and children from birth records and other surveys.

Excerpted from “Study Finds Children Log Excessive Screen-Time” published on the State University of New York at Albany website. Read the full press release.

Source: State University of New York at Albany | Study Finds Children Log Excessive Screen-Time, https://www.albany.edu/news/92890.php | © 2019 University at Albany

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