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Screen Time Among Children graph Screen Time, by Poverty Status graph TV in Bedroom graph TV in Bedroom, by Poverty Status graph Back to top

Screen Time

The Bright Futures guidelines for infants, children, and adolescents recommend that parents limit children's screen time to 1-2 hours per day for children aged 1-5 years.1 Parents of children aged 1-5 years were asked how many hours children spent watching TV or videos on weekdays. Overall, only 7.9 percent of children aged 1-5 years did not watch any TV, while 37.7 percent watched 1 hour or less per weekday, and 54.4 percent watched TV for more than 1 hour per weekday.

Children in households with incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) were most likely to have watched more than 1 hour of TV per day (60.0 percent). Among children with household incomes below 100 percent of the FPL, 57.7 percent watched more than 1 hour of TV per day, as did 55.4 percent of children in households with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of the FPL and 46.5 percent of those with household incomes of 400 percent or more of the FPL.

Bright Futures guidelines also recommend that children of all ages not have a TV in their bedroom. Among children aged 6-17 years, 50 percent were reported to have a TV in their bedroom. Children aged 6-17 years in lower-income households were more likely to have a TV in their room than those in higher-income households. Among children aged 6-17 years with household incomes below the FPL, 60.9 percent had a TV in their bedroom, compared to 57.6 percent of those with incomes between 100 and 199 percent of FPL and 51.4 percent of those with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL. Children with household incomes of 400 percent or more of FPL were least likely to have a TV in their bedroom (37.6 percent).

1 Hagan JF, Shaw JS, Duncan PM, eds. Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Third edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008.


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