TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Media exposure, including television and computer use, appears to be common in child care centers, with less than half of centers compliant with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines on television use in child care, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from April 30 to May 3 in Denver.
Kristen Copeland, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues surveyed directors of 255 licensed child care centers in two urban counties to determine the prevalence, frequency, and content of media exposure in child care centers; AAP guideline compliance; and center demographic characteristics linked to compliance. The updated July 2010 AAP guidelines recommended that television should not be used for children younger than 2 years, television should be limited to less than once per week for children ≥2 years, and television should be limited to ≤30 min/session for children ≥2 years.
The investigators found that 177 centers (69 percent) reported having a television, while 182 (71 percent) reported having a computer. The investigators also found that 81 percent of centers prohibited television viewing in children younger than 2 years. In 64 percent, children ≥2 years watched television less than once per week, and in 51 percent, children ≥2 years watched television less than 30 min/session. Only 41 percent of centers met all three AAP guidelines.
"When coupled with typical media exposure levels in the home, our data suggest there is ample room for improvement in curbing children's media exposure," the authors write.