A study on screen time use in children between 24 to 60 months of age in Tamil Nadu, India


  • S. Alph Shirley Department of Paediatrics, Kanyakumari Government Medical College, Asaripallam, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India
  • S. Santha Kumar Department of Paediatrics, Government Thiruvannamalai Medical College, Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India




AAP screen time recommendations, Digital media, Screen time, Screen time preschool children, Screen time 2 to 5 years, 24 to 60 months, WHO screen time recommendations


Background: This study was done with the objective of finding the average daily duration and pattern of screen time use in children in the age group of 24 to 60 months in the state of Tamilnadu, India and to find the correlation between screen time and demographic parameters.

Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted at the state of Tamilnadu, India from June 2019 to August 2019 among 148 children in play school and kindergarten classes in the age group of 24 to 60 months fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Details regarding screen time use were collected from the parents using a predesigned questionnaire and analyzed using suitable statistical methods.

Results: A total of 148 children (77(52.0%) male and 71(48.0%) female) were studied. The average daily screen time in the study group was 139.4 minutes (SD: 1.6). Majority of the children had a screen time duration between 61 to 120 minutes (48.6%). Only 14.2% had a screen time of ≤60 minutes as per AAP and WHO recommendations. Majority of the screen time was used to watch children’s entertainment programs and play games (67.6%). 83.1% of the children were using 2 or more screen types. Television and smart phones were the commonest screen types used by children in this age group. The percentage of children with average daily screen time ≤ 60 minutes was found to be more in joint families (16.3%) compared to nuclear families (10%). But this difference was not statistically significant. No statistically significant correlation was found between screen time duration in children and age, gender, parent’s socioeconomic status, education and occupation.

Conclusions: Increasing screen time activity in early childhood is an emerging problem of the digital age which requires interventions at family, social and healthcare levels.


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