Children who go to home-based day-care programs watch two times the amount of TV per day as was previously thought, according to a new study published in the December issue of Pediatrics, the Washington Post reports.
Researchers for the study conducted a survey of 168 child-care programs in four states and found that toddlers ages 1 to 3 in home-based day-care centers watched an average of 1.6 hours of TV there each day, including videos and DVDs. Preschool-age children, 3 to 5 years old, watched 2.4 hours a day in home-based centers.
Previous studies, which estimated that preschool children watch one to three hours a day, relied on reports from parents about children’s habits at home and did not count the time they spent watching TV during day care, underestimating the total TV time by up to 100 percent, researchers said.
— Tom Gilbert