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Screen Exposure in Young Children on the Rise

JAMA Pediatrics; ePub 2019 Feb 18; Chen, et al

Between 1997 and 2014, screen time doubled among children aged 0 to 2 years and that, both before and after the advent of mobile devices, young children’s television time increased tremendously, according to a recent study. Researchers estimated young children’s screen time using time diary data from the 1997 and 2014 Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. There were 1,327 and 443 children aged <6 years who completed the time diary in 1997 and 2014, respectively. They found:

  • In 1997, daily screen time averaged 1.32 hours for children aged 0 to 2 years and 2.47 hours for children aged 3 to 5 years.
  • In comparison with other devices, screen time allocated to television was highest; children aged 0 to 2 years and children aged 3 to 5 years watched television for 0.56 and 1.19 hours (43% and 48% of total screen time) per day, respectively.
  • By 2014, total screen time among children aged 0 to 2 years had risen to 3.05 hours per day.
  • In 1997 and 2014, the low-user group had higher family income.

Chen W, Adler JL. Assessment of screen exposure in young children, 1997 to 2014. [Published online ahead of print February 18, 2019]. JAMA Pediatrics. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5546.