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Young Children Spend More Time With Screens Than Books, Survey Finds

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Children ages 6 months to 6 years spend more time using screen media, such as television, video games, DVDs, and computers, on a daily basis than they spend reading or being read to, according to a survey of parents.

The survey of more than 1,000 parents of children in that age group, conducted by the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, found that, on average, youngsters spent 59 minutes a day watching TV, 24 minutes watching DVDs or videos, six minutes playing video games, and seven minutes on computers, resulting in an average of more than 1½ hours of screen-media exposure. The parents also reported that their children spent 40 minutes a day reading or being read to.

In addition, 31 percent of parents said they believe that TV mostly hurts children’s learning, while 38 percent believed that watching TV mostly helps. By contrast, only 8 percent of parents said they believed that computers mostly hurt children’s learning, while 69 percent believed that they help.

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