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Study: Kids Watch TV Two Hours a Day

24 May, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

More than 80% of children between the ages of 4 and 6 watch about two hours of television each day, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The national survey of more than 1,000 parents with children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years found that 61% of kids (under 2 years of age) watched on average one hour and 20 minutes of TV per day, including 18% who primarily watch videos and DVDs.

The study found that the ubiquitous presence of one or more televisions in the home resulted in 33% of children having a TV in their bedroom, and 32% of children lived in homes where the TV was on all the time, including 16% where the TV was on during meals.

Many parents continue to use the TV as a de facto babysitter and claim the TV makes their lives more manageable. About 66% of parents surveyed said the TV had a positive effect on their kids, compared to 31% who said it had the opposite effect.

“Parents use media to help them keep their kids occupied, calm them down, avoid family squabbles and teach their kids the things [they] are afraid they don't have time to teach themselves,” said Vicky Rideout, VP and director of Kaiser's Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health.

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