Total Screen Time For Children Under 2 Years Old Doubles

Total screen time for children under 2 years old doubles. According to a new study, screen time for kids under 2 has more than doubled. Researchers behind this new review obtained a record of parent diary data from the Child Development Supplement Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the University of Michigan.

The estimates show that for children under 2 years old, screen time went to 3.05 hours in 2014 from averaged 1.32 hours in 1997. In addition to 2014, TV accounted for over 2½ hours of screen time, while in 1997 it was half an hour. For kids between ages 3 to 5, screen time averaged 2.47 hours in 1997 remained the same in 2014, with television accounting for over an hour in 1997 to over two hours in 2014.

Lead author of the study, Weiwei Chen who is an assistant professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management at Florida International University, explains that screen time was the total calculation of TV time, video games and computers in 1997. Then by 2014, the list of devices added cell phones, tablets, learning devices, and electronic readers.

Swanson further explains that spending a large amount of time on screens is linked to social cognitive, language and emotional delays. Along with the time, parents should focus on the content.

“Programming has gotten better and better at capturing our kids’ attention,” Swanson said. “And while this is provocative and compelling for children’s minds, it also sets them up for this expectation that the world moves at a certain pace, and we know that it doesn’t.”


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