Screen time of teens doubled to 7.7 hours per day as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its ill effects on top of their 5 to 7 hours of online school, a recent study by JAMA Pediatrics suggests.
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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MARCH 22: Teenagers pose with their phones next to the light installation ‘Absorbed By Light’ lights up ahead of the official launch of Liverpool’s annual River of Light Trail on March 22, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Eleven illuminated installations created by local, national and international artists will form the 2km outdoor walking River of Light Trail from tomorrow and will run for 14 nights from 6pm-10.30pm. The walking trail of light coincides with the anniversary of a year since the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown came into force. The River of Light Trail is only open to the residents of the city for the first week and will be compliant with current social distancing rules.
As per the report by USA Today, the study that JAMA Pediatrics published on Monday, Nov. 1, accounts for the average screen time of adolescents outside of their virtual classes.
Screen Time of Teens Rise to 7.7 Hours
That said, aside from the online school screen exposure, the young minds are adding another 7.7 hours of screen time to their daily routine during the pandemic.
In comparison to the pre-pandemic recreational screen time estimates, the recent data doubles from the previous average of 3.8 hours per day.
The director of Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Michael Rich, told USA Today in the same report that “that’s a pretty crazy phenomenon when you consider they were also on screens for 5 to 7 hours a day for school.”
Rich, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical School of Harvard, went on to note that “kids were essentially putting in a full workday of recreational screen time.”
Screen Time of Teens Study
The study that looked into the screen time of teens nowadays used the data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, which is long-term research funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to the story by FoxNews.
The study included 5,400 teens as its participants, who are aged 12 to 13. The young folks went on to self-reported their recreational screen time from 2016 to May 2020.
That said, health experts say that the estimates from the study are likely inaccurate. It comes as some of the participants may have underreported their screen time.
Rich went on to suggest that “when you add in multitasking and ambient exposure, these numbers are low.”
So, it turns out that there is still a possibility that teens in the United States are spending more than 7.7 hours of recreation time in front of screens.
Read Also: Mental Health of Kids a ‘National Emergency’ As Per Top Pediatric Organizations–Is Increased Tech Dependence To Blame?
CDC and Screen Time
FoxNews said in the same report that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC of the United States claim that kids, ranging from the age of 8-18, spend an average screen time of 7.5 hours for leisure usage.
That said, the results of the recent study from JAMA are not far away from the claims of the CDC.
COVID-19 Vaccine for Young Minds
Elsewhere, young minds are scheduled to receive their COVID-19 vaccines in the weeks to come after the FDA approves its emergency use authorization for kids between 5 to 11 pages.
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