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Daycare may double TV time for young children, study finds
Date:11/22/2009

In a new study, the amount of television viewed by many young children in child care settings doubles the previous estimates of early childhood screen time, with those in home-based settings watching significantly more on average than those in center-based daycares. This study is the first to examine screen time in child care settings in more than 20 years. The study looked at television use in 168 child care programs in four states, and was guided by lead researcher Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "Preschool-Aged Children's Television Viewing in Child Care Settings" is published in the December 2009 issue of Pediatrics, appearing online November 23, 2009.

Previous estimates of screen time for babies and pre-school children relied on parental reports of viewing in the home, yet the majority of pre-schoolers are now commonly cared for by someone other than a parent, away from home in a child care setting. Prior studies have estimated that preschool children watch 2-3 hours of TV per day at home. According to the researchers, previous data on screen time in child care settings are more than 20 years old and don't accurately reflect today's cultural factors affecting media use among children.

The study found that among preschool-aged children, those in home-based daycares watched TV for 2.4 hours per day on average, compared to 0.4 hours in center-based settings. Some home-based programs were closer to the center-based programs in amount of time they used television, particularly those programs in which the staff had college degrees. With the exception of infants, children in home-based child care programs were exposed to significantly more television on an average day than children in center-based programs (infants: 0.2 vs 0 hours; toddlers: 1.6 vs 0.1
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Contact: Emily Robinson
Emily.Robinson@hillandknowlton.com
206-441-7168
Seattle Children's
Source:Eurekalert

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