Child care issues and remote learning is making more parents use their screens to preoccupy their kids during the pandemic. However, a new research study has revealed how the time younger children spend on screens has reached a concerning level for the lower-income family. Ohio State University researchers say that young children from families with a low income have an average of six hours of screen time per day during this global pandemic.
This study which was done at the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak confirmed that this is almost double what these kids used to spend prior to the coronavirus. In addition, researchers say that caregivers and parents in low-income families have had a tougher time managing their kids’ and toddlers’ time using tablets/smartphones and watching TV with daycares being closed.
Rebecca Dore, a lead author of the study, said they found that this child was on screens for longer than most experts consider appropriate. Yes, some of that times was being used positively, like connecting with family and friends. However, the amount of screen time is still something parents and caregivers should be very aware of, she further stated.
Weekdays are often the worst
The researchers looked at 151 low-income families and caregivers in Ohio who had children between 1st May and 30th June 2020. The group was asked 12 questions about how their kid’s media use looked like during the pandemic’s early days, including both weekend and weekday use. During this period, results showed that these kids had around 6.6 hours of screen time every day. However, they also found that they were spending more time on their screens on weekdays, 6.8 hours, compared to the 5.8 hours they did on weekends.
This suggests that parents and caregivers might’ve been using these screens as a way to keep busy since most had to be at home.