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Advice for Patients
Nov 2011

Reducing Screen Time for Children

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(11):1056. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.192

Children in the United States watch an average of 4 hours of television per day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 2 years of age avoid all types of television viewing and that children 2 years of age or older should not be exposed to more than 2 hours per day of entertainment media or “screen time” (ie, time sitting in front of a television or computer screen or playing video games). These restrictions are given for several reasons:

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Because increased screen time is associated with health problems, many doctors and researchers are interested in ways to help parents reduce screen time for their children. An article in this month's issue of the Archives examined 13 past research studies that tested programs to reduce screen time. Programs that worked with schools or families to reduce screen time among younger preschool children also helped those children maintain a healthy weight. In conclusion, limiting screen time for children at these early ages is very important because it helps to keep them healthy, to prevent obesity, and to set up good habits as they get older.

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