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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Screen time for children ages 0-2 more than doubled from 1997 to 2014, according to a new report from Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

The bottom line: The study found that most of the uptick came from screen time spent on television. In total, TV consumption has more than doubled in percentage points of overall consumption of screen time from 1997 to 2014.

Why it matters: This means that the screen-time increase might not be the result of an onslaught of new technologies, but rather caused by changes in parental interactions because of work schedules or other socio-economic factors.

  • To that end, the study notes that the 2014 high screen-user group was dominated by boys and children with low parental education level and family income.
  • The authors recommend that future research examine the association between screen time and other "child development supplement measures," such as parenting style and sibling and peer influence.

By the numbers: In 1997, daily screen time averaged 1.32 hours for children aged 0 to 2 years and 2.47 hours for children aged 3 to 5 years. By 2014, total screen time among children aged 0 to 2 years had risen to 3.05 hours per day. In comparison with other devices, screen time allocated to television comes in highest.

  • In 1997, the study found that on average, children ages 0-2 and ages 3-5 watched television for roughly 43% and 48% of their screen exposure, respectively.
  • In 2014, the study found that on average, children ages 0-2 and ages 3-5 watched television for roughly 86% and 78% of their screen exposure, respectively.

Yes, but: Dylan Collins, CEO of children's tech company SuperAwesome, emails that this study stopped measuring viewing habits after a pivotal switch occurred in the media diets of young children.

  • "The real acceleration of decline in kids TV started in 2013/2014 so I think what you're seeing here is the passing of peak kids TV. At this point you were also seeing kids consume content in a multi-screen manner (e.g. tablet + TV on in background)."

The big picture: While there haven't been many long-term studies on the impact of screen time on children's health to date, there has been research that suggests that prolonged screen time can increase risks of obesity in children and can be linked to poorer performance on developmental screening tests later in childhood.

Go deeper

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

Elon Musk: Autopilot feature wasn't enabled in fatal Texas crash

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday that "data logs recovered so far" show the car's Autopilot feature was not enabled — and it did not have access to "full self-driving mode" — in the deadly crash in Texas involving the company's electric vehicle.

Background: Local investigators said they believed the car was operating without anyone in the driver's seat. At the time of death, one man was in the passenger seat, while another was in the rear seat, KPRC 2 reports.