Are toddlers meeting screen-time guidelines?

November 25, 2019

Bottom Line: Most 2- and 3-year-old children don't meet screen time guidelines and moms' screen usage was one of the associated factors reported in this observational study. Guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization and pediatric societies have recommended that preschool-age children get no more than one hour of screen time daily. This study used data collected from 2011 to 2014 to determine how common it is for children 2 and 3 years old to meet or exceed screen time guidelines and to describe individual and family factors associated with failing to meet those guidelines. There were 1,595 and 1,994 children at ages 2 and 3 years old, respectively, available for the analysis. Researchers report 79.4% of children at 2 years old and 94.7% at 3 years old didn't meet screen time guidelines. Factors associated with failing to meeting screen time guidelines at 2 years old were maternal screen time, being cared for at home compared with daycare, and the year data were collected. At 3 years old, only maternal screen time was a significant factor. Limitations of the study include maternal self-reported screen time and a lack of information on how screen time was used, such as viewing alone or with others. Initiatives aimed at reducing screen time by children need to consider family screen time habits.

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Authors: Sheri Madigan, Ph.D., of the University of Calgary, Canada, and coauthors


Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Sheri Madigan, Ph.D., email Heath McCoy at The full study is linked to this news release.

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JAMA Pediatrics

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