It’s been proven that too much television just isn’t healthy for kids. And, while most fathers at least make an effort to keep the amount of screen time their kids get each day to a minimum, a new study finds kids in daycare may be watching double the amount of TV that they should be.
The study found that preschool-aged children in home-based daycares watch an average of 2.4 hours of television per day, compared to .4 hours per day in daycare centers.
Lead researcher Dr Dimitri Christakis calls the findings alarming. ""I think most parents expect their child’s preschool environment to provide opportunities for cognitive stimulation, social interaction and physical activity. Television is a poor substitute for all of these," he said.
Among the parenting advice for dealing with television viewing away from home is for fathers to talk with daycare providers about how much TV and which programs are being watched each day. Parents should speak up and set limits about how much is inappropriate for their children. And, they should ask their kids whether they watched TV on a given day, just like they’d ask them what they ate for lunch.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents limit the amount of screen time their kids have every day. Children under two years of age should not watch any TV, while older kids should be limited to two hours each day.
Other ways to decrease screen time include declaring "media-free" days, turning television sets off immediately after a program is finished and focusing on positive activities like interactive play, singing, reading and talking.