Screen time for 2-year-olds and younger has doubled since the mid-90s, study finds

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses what parents should know about a new study that looks at the amount of time babies spend in front of a screen.
3:01 | 02/19/19

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Screen time for 2-year-olds and younger has doubled since the mid-90s, study finds
An alarming new study found screen time among children 2 years old and younger, it's doubled since the late 1990s. Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here. I know, so break this down. This was an interesting study done by patient survey, parent survey and looked at kids under the age of 2, 1997 and found 1 plus hour a day, these are toddlers, remember. Then in 2014, over 3 hours a day. This was just published now and the point here to be clear, pediatricians recommend zero screen time for children 18 months and younger so this is a big increase. Does it do something to our brains or something? ? It does. You're talking about anatomy and physiology. It changes the structure and function of the brain. We know that because of testing being done and has been done. What we don't know is how meaningful is that? We don't know whether it's all negative or partially positive. We don't know what the changes will result in five, ten, 20 years down the road and we don't know if all screen time is equal. E-readers, educational devices, very different than, you know, something that's just for a game but logistically any parent, any caregiver if you have a child in your life you know that that is like a drug, once you hand a child a screen, they calm down and unfortunately it's just an easy thing we've all been there. Notice how once you hand them. It's not like -- Sometimes they grab it. But at that young you're putting it in their hands. If you're concerned what 0 do. We have toys here and need to remember the old-fashioned things are still important. They simulate role play, imagination, fine motor skills with art and again not all learning has to be educational. It should still be fun. I think the other tips for parents are we need to monitor this time so you can't just hand them a device or sit them in front of the TV set and lose track of time. I think we do need to make an effort to make that screen time interactive. Remember these old-fashioned toys and games because they do have value and I say don't replace the face because toddlers, babies, children, they need to engage people. They need to need facial expression and need to see stoeshl interaction. That as important as everything else in their life. I remember a couple of years ago seeing video and there was a young toddler with a magazine who was trying to I saw that, exactly. Thinking it was an iPad. It was a magazine. My son is in college. He is a computer science major. I swear he could have launched the space shuttle when he was 3 years old. They're facile with technology. It's a good thing. We just need to make it moderate. Not all or none. What was the matter with Winnie the pooh? Fonsi? I mean, gosh. Just whisked it off the table like that. Okay. Ginger.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"3:01","description":"Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses what parents should know about a new study that looks at the amount of time babies spend in front of a screen. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"61159883","title":"Screen time for 2-year-olds and younger has doubled since the mid-90s, study finds ","url":"/GMA/Wellness/video/screen-time-year-olds-younger-doubled-mid-90s-61159883"}