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Screens over sleep? How screen time impacts sleep time for kids

As children’s access to entertainment media devices grows, concerns about the impact of screen time on their health grows too. Experts worry that too much screen time may lead to obesity, ADHD, and other problems for young children.

This week, new research was published in the journal Pediatrics that says that when children sleep in a room with screens (like a TV), they get less sleep overall. In this study of over 2,000 4th and 7th-graders in Massachusetts, children who had a TV in their sleep environment got an average of 18 minutes fewer minutes of sleep per night than children without a TV in their bedrooms. Read more about the study here:
“More evidence against keeping electronics in kids’ bedrooms.”

In 2014, the National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents with young children about their experiences with screen time in their kids. About one quarter of parents reported that their children age 2-5 have three or more hours of screen time per day and about half said they set limits on the locations where their children can use devices (for example, not in their bedroom and not at mealtime). But 13% of parents reported that they have no limits set on media device location or screen time amounts for their young children. Read the full report - Screening out screen time: Parents limit media use for young children.

This infographic shows the screen time rules parents have set for their young children:

Parents' Rules for Screen Time for Young Children
View full size image | See other infographics about kids' health

What do experts say about screen time limits? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under age two should have no entertainment screen time and kids older than two should have no more than two hours per day.

To learn more about screen time recommendations for kids, watch this video with Dr. Matt Davis, a pediatrician and the Director of the National Poll on Children’s Health:

What do you think?
Do you have any rules about screen time for your kids? Share your experiences in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter @MottNPCH