Nov 25, 2019

Report finds infants and toddlers using screens in "high amounts"

Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Children ages 1–3 years old are increasingly watching TV or using screen time in "high amounts," according to an analysis by the National Institutes of Health released Monday.

Why it matters: The World Health Organization and pediatric societies have recommended that preschool-age children get no more than one hour of screen time a day and should spend time being active. The average daily time spent using screens increased from 53 minutes at age 1 to more than 150 minutes at age 3, per the NIH.

The big picture: Parents rely on digital babysitters and device-led playtime to entertain their children. Last April, JAMA Pediatrics published a report showing screen time for children ages 0–2 more than doubled from 1997 to 2014.

The findings from the NIH were from more than 6,000 children conceived after infertility treatments and born in New York state from 2008 to 2010:

  • Children of first-time mothers were more likely to be in the high-increase group.
  • Children who don't attend daycare and were cared for at home had high interaction time with screens.
  • At ages 7 and 8, screen time fell to under 1.5 hours per day, likely due to changes related to starting school.
  • There are still only a small number of studies on the long-term effects of screen time on toddlers.

Noteworthy: New York has policies that ban infants from screen exposure in daycare centers. Regulations are not nationwide.

  • Approximately 5.1 million working families are spending $250 a week on child care, about 10% of the average family income, according to the Center for American Progress.

Go deeper: Screen time has more than doubled for babies, thanks mostly to TV

Go deeper

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Tuesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"