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The Average American Baby Watches Nearly 3 Hours of TV Daily

Children are spending more time than ever in front of a screen, and it doesn't necessarily bode well for their futures. In 1997, babies and toddlers age 0-2 got an average of 1.32 hours of screen time each day, Axios reports. By 2014, that number had doubled to three hours per day, and more of that time is spent in front of the TV than ever before.

Using data from a previous child development study, JAMA researchers found that children age 2 and under spent 43 percent of their screen time in front of a TV in 1997. The rest of the time was spent with video games and computers. By 2014, the definition of screen time expanded to include cell phones and tablets, CNN notes. Still, TV had still skyrocketed to take up 86 percent of the youngest age bracket's screen exposure, or more than 2 and half hours each day. Screen time for kids age 3-5 didn't increase much overall, but the portion of time spent watching TV grew from 48 to 78 percent.

"Prolonged screen time can increase risks of obesity in children and can be linked to poorer performance on developmental screening tests," Axios also notes.

Source: Isabelle Plasschaert, “The average American baby now watches nearly 3 hours of TV every day,” The Week (2-19-19)

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