MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Most children aged 2 and 3 years do not meet screen time guidelines, and 26.7 percent of children have an increasing screen time trajectory from age 1 to 3 years, according to two reports published online Nov. 25 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Sheri Madigan, Ph.D., from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues collected longitudinal data from the All Our Families study from 2011 to 2014 to examine the prevalence of meeting versus exceeding screen time guidelines for children ages 2 and 3 years. A total of 1,595 and 1,994 children were available for analyses at ages 2 and 3 years, respectively. The researchers found that most children did not meet screen time guidelines at ages 2 or 3 years, with 79.4 and 94.7 percent, respectively, exceeding guidelines.

Mai-Han Trinh, from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined trajectories of screen time among children aged 1 to 3 years in a prospective birth cohort study that included 3,895 children. The researchers found that median daily screen time increased from 30 to 120 minutes from 12 to 36 months of age. Overall, 26.7 percent of the 1,045 children with complete data at all five time points had an increasing screen time trajectory. Female child sex and graduate school levels of paternal and maternal education correlated with a lower risk for an increasing trajectory. At age 8 years, children with an increasing trajectory from age 1 to 3 years had an additional 22 minutes of screen time per day.

“These results suggest possible target groups for interventions on children’s screen media use,” Trinh and colleagues write.

Abstract/Full Text – Madigan (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract/Full Text – Trinh (subscription or payment may be required)

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