New study comes on on 'Screen Time'

June 27, 2011 1:50:30 PM PDT
If you struggle to get your pre-schooler to bed on a nightly basis, a new study out today has some advice for parents.

Turn off the television, especially in the evening.

"Mostly I spend all my time on my iPod touch," said 8-year-old Amir Harris.

Now there's more proof that all that time in front of the screen could be keeping your kids up at night.

"She knows how to use the iPad and enjoys that more than the tv but I do put a time limit on it half hour to 45 minutes a day," said Melissa Bonello.

But a new study also finds that what they're watching and when is also important.

"At bedtime I like to turn everything off tv all monitors," said Isis Harris.

Researchers surveyed the parents of more than 600 children who are 3 to 5 years old.

They found that any exposure to visual media after 7 p.m. was associated with sleep disruptions and daytime sleepiness.

If the video content was violent it created more problems.

And kids with tv's in their bedroom spent on average 40 minutes longer more watching it.

"Parents need to be the decision-makers and set limits. It's ok to remove the television from your child's room and parents need to decide what content is appropriate for their child to watch and when they feel it is appropriate for them to watch it," said Allison Brindle with Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit total screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.

Avoid putting tv's and computers in your child's bedroom and avoid using media as a quote electronic baby-sitter, which is sometimes easier said than done.