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Screen Time For Kids Under 2 Has Doubled In The Last Two Decades, Study Says





Children love to watch television or videos on the internet. Over the years, children are spending more screen time than normal. In fact, a new study says that for the past twenty years, children under the age of 2 has spent twice the amount of time in front of a screen every day as they did about 20 years ago.

The researchers, namely Dr. Weiwei Chen and Dr. Jessica Adler, studied parent data previously collected by the Child Development Supplement Panel Study of Income Dynamics at the University of Michigan. The data was dated from 1997 to 2014.

Children spend more time in front of the television.

Source: Pixabay

They found that toddlers spent more than twice as much time in front of screens, which was 1.32 hours in 1997 compared to 3.05 hours in 2014.

Meanwhile, kids from ages 3 to 5 years old did not experience a significant increase in screen time during the time period.

Source: Pixabay

But, the proportion of the time spent on watching TV soared from 48 percent to 78 percent, respectively. The study, which was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, shows how long children spent on screens today compared with the past.

These days, children spend more time indoors, playing video games and watching TV rather than playing outdoors. This has led to a wide array of health conditions such as obesity. Another factor is that parents of today are faced with the demands of being working parents, having little time for their kids.

Weiwei Chen, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management at Florida International University, said:

“When we’re busy and we’re working a couple of jobs or are overwhelmed or are a single parent, the television is so effective at holding our child’s attention and making it easier on our household.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, “Media and Young Minds”, children less than 2 years old need hands-on exploration and social interaction with caregivers. This way, they can develop their physical, cognitive, and social skills.

It recommends that these kids should avoid all types of digital media, except video chatting.

Source: Pixabay

The issue escalated as new applications, games, and videos show violent content to children today. Hence, parental guidance should always be implemented in all households to prevent negative effects.

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