But children in home-based settings get far more screen time than those in center-based care, study finds
MONDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) --Young children of working parents may watch even more television every day than previous reports have found, especially kids in home-based day-care settings, a new study finds.
Researchers from Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington surveyed day-care directors to find out how much television viewing was available and then added on the estimated two or three hours a day of home viewing done by many preschoolers.
"If you add the TV from day-care setting to home viewing, you get about five hours a day," said lead researcher Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
At home-based day care centers, the preschool-age children watched more -- 2.4 hours a day on average -- compared to 0.4 hours in center-based settings. The differences were less significant with toddlers and infants in home care who viewed 1.6 hours and 0.2 hours, respectively, compared with 0.1 hours for toddlers and none for infants in the centers.
The results, Christakis said, are surprising and somewhat alarming. "When you consider preschool kids are only awake for 12 hours a day, they are spending almost half their waking hours in front of the TV," he said.
The study was published online Nov. 23 in advance of publication in the December issue of Pediatrics.
For the study, the researchers interviewed directors of 168 licensed child-care programs in four states, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington. They asked the directors how many hours of television were usually watched. In all, the directors of 94 home-based programs and 74 center-based programs participated.
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