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Kids and TV: Researchers Urge Parents to Cut Back – and Offer Help on Pulling the Plug

Although most parents agree that their kids should watch less television, they also aren’t certain how to pull the plug, according to a new study by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, offers simple recommendations for parents – and health care professionals – to reduce excessive screen time, which is blamed for physical, academic and behavioral problems among children. Children are averaging five hours a day in front of televisions, computers and video games, the researchers found.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over age two spend two hours or less watching screen media. Yet few parents have taken steps to cut into viewing time, in part because they fear disrupting home life, the study found.