Friday, 28 October 2011

More Kids Sleep With TV, Study Finds

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines affirming its position that children under age two avoid screen time, including programs watched on TVs, computers or smartphones.
Of course, despite the recommendations, many young children still spend a lot of time in front of screens. But how much?
Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that studies media, set out to analyze how young people spend their screen time. The group surveyed nearly 1,400 parents and in a new report, found that kids from birth to age eight spend an average of 1.44 hours watching TV or videos in a typical day, compared to just under a half-hour reading, listening to music or playing video games.
Among infants, some 47% of babies up to age one watch TV or DVDs, and those who do spend an average of nearly two hours a day doing so. (Among all kids in that age group, children are read to an average of just 23 minutes a day.)
What’s more, among kids ages six months to 23 months, about a third have a TV in their bedroom, the study reported, a statistic I found pretty shocking. (My husband and I don’t even have a TV in our room, let alone our young boys’ room.)
The proportion of kids with TV in their bedrooms rises even higher as kids get older, and has risen markedly in recent years, the study found; nearly half of five to eight-year-olds have TVs in their rooms. You can find more details about the study here and here.
The report also found that among kids ages zero to eight, more than a quarter of all screen time is spent with digital media, including computers, handheld videogame players, cellphones and tablets. In a typical day, some 11% of all kids up from birth to eight-years-old use a cell phone, iPod, iPad, or similar device for media consumption, and those who do spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so.
Readers, how do you feel about TV in the kids’ bedroom? And how often do your kids play with digital “toys,” such as computers, smartphones or tablets? Do you feel your kids get enough reading, music and playing time?

By Rachel Emma Silverman taken from

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