Young Children Average More Than 3 Hours of Screen Time Each Day

February 19, 2019, 1:12 PM UTC

Despite pediatricians calling for less screen time for children, a new study suggests kids are spending more time in front of their favorite tech than ever before.

In 1997, the average child between the ages of zero and two spent 1.32 hours each day in front of a screen, according to a report from the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics (JAMA). In 2014, that screen time increased to 3.05 hours per day. And while 43% of their screen time in 1997 was spent in front of a television, by 2014, that share of time increased to 86%, according to the report, which was earlier cited by Axios. In fact, the researchers found that smartphones and tablets did little to boost screen time. Through 2014, at least, TV was still tops.

The study comes at a pivotal time in childhood development research. Now more than ever, kids are growing up with countless ways to interact with technology and access the programming and games they want. Pediatricians have long considered too much screen time a health threat that can increase obesity and hurt children’s scores on standardized testing. They’ve called on parents to limit screen time as much as possible.

According to Axios, the researchers found that boys were more likely than girls to have more screen time. They also discovered that children with parents who have less income or less education were also more likely to spend time in front of a screen.