An interesting study published in this month’s Pediatrics offers some fresh data on media use among children aged 0-6 years. As a parent you may want to see how you measure up.
Percentage of young children who….
Watch T.V.: 75% (1 hour 20 minute average)
Use computer: 27% of 5-6 year olds (50 minute/day average)
Have a T.V. in their room: 20% of 0-2 year olds, 33% of 3-6 year olds
Most commonly cited reason for allowing a bedroom T.V.:
1. Occupies a child so that the parents can do other things – 38%
2. Helps a child fall asleep – 30%
3. Serves as a reward for good behavior – 25%
The study itself is an interesting read and probably doesn’t fall outside the realm of what most parents can understand. I didn’t find the stats too shocking although the growing numbers of young children with televisions in their bedrooms is surprising. Other studies involving older children put the bedroom television figures at aroung 66%. There also appears to be a worrisome trend of parents using television to settle fussy babies.
The impact of a growing media presence in the lives of our children is unknown and needs a lot more study.