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Kids and Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children older than 2 should watch no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality entertainment media per day. A new study has found parents who set consistent rules about television use can be successful in limiting their children's screen time. The study, "Influence of Limit-Setting and Participation in Physical Activity on Youth Screen Time," published in the July print issue of Pediatrics (published online June 14), also found that children who were more physically active were less likely to exceed the recommended screen-time limits. Researchers surveyed both the parents and children in 1,513 households with children aged 9 to 15 years. Children were asked about their media habits, physical activity and their parents' rules regarding television. Parents were asked how often they set limits on their children's media time. Researchers found that more than 27 percent of youth aged 9 to 15 years exceeded the recommended limit of screen time, and that boys, black children and children from lower-income families exceeded this limit more than other populations. However, children who agreed their parents had rules about screen time were less likely to exceed recommended limits for television. Researchers also found that as children spent more time being physically active - both on organized sports teams and in free-time activities - they were less likely to exceed screen time limits. Study authors suggest that initiatives that encourage parents to set limits and that promote physical activity may help reduce screen time.
Susan Carlson comes on the show to discuss the study that states that children who were more physically active were less likely to exceed the recommended screen-time limits, and to help parents get their children to be more active and away from the TV.
Susan A. Carlson, MPH is an Epidemiologist with the Physical Activity and Health Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her interests are in the surveillance of physical activity in the U.S. population and in the epidemiology of physical activity and sedentary behavior.
Melanie Cole, M.S.