Kids and screen time, too much says Davis

May 22, 2014

Young children in the U.S. get too much screen time is the chief finding of a new poll directed by Professor Matt Davis. More than one-quarter of parents with young children report that their kids get more than three hours of screen time per day, well above the National Institutes of Health guidelines. More than 10 percent of parents report no limits on screen time.

"When you get to three or four hours each day, that screen time crowds out other important activities that babies and young kids should be engaging in: looking at books, going for walks or playing outside," Professor Matthew Davis told Robert Preidt, in "Preschoolers Getting Too Much Screen Time: Survey," an article for Yahoo! Health, MSN Healthy Living, US News & World Report, and a dozen other media outlets.

What can be done to control screen time? It's a real challenge for parents, says Davis, who suggests limiting the locations where devices can be used. "The most common approaches to limiting screen time have more to do with location than counting minutes. That makes sense. It's easier to say no smartphones at the table than to be watching the clock," Davis told Preidt.

Dr. Matthew Davis is a professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, internal medicine, and public policy at the University of Michigan. He is also director of the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, and chief medical executive for the state of Michigan.