Screen time for toddlers has more than doubled since 1997

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Toddlers might be getting too much TV time.

According to a new study published in the journal, Jama Pediatrics, screen time has more than doubled for children under two years old in recent decades. The report showed daily screen time jumped from about one hour a day in 1997, to about three hours a day in 2014. 

Television accounts for most of that time, with kids now clocking in more than two and a half hours a day watching TV. The rest of the time is spent on devices such as computers, cell phones and tablets. 

Experts said excessive exposure to screens is dangerous for young children, and may lead to cognitive, language and social delays. Toddlers could lose the ability to develop motor skills and communications skills, according to Life Strategies Counselor, Bill Catus.

“You’re not going to be able to totally eliminate it. But I think it’s just to set times for when they can look at it. Like set maybe thirty minutes in the evening for when they can look at it,” Catus explained to WVNS.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended limiting screen times to one hour per day for ages two to five, and avoiding screens altogether for infants younger than 18 months.