Toddlers who watch too much TV may struggle in school later, with measurably lower scores in math, Canadian and U.S. researchers reported recently.
Less surprisingly, children who watched more TV at age 2 weighed more by the time they were 10 and ate more snacks and soft drinks, the researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
“The results support previous suggestions that early childhood television exposure undermines attention,” wrote Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal and colleagues at Bowling Green University in Kentucky and the University of Michigan.
They said children who spend more time watching TV and less time playing with other kids may lose valuable chances to learn social skills.
The researchers started with more than 2,000 children taking part in a larger study. Their parents reported how much TV the children watched at 2-1/2 and later at 4-1/2 year old.
The checked with the children’s teachers and doctors when the subjects were 10.
Every additional weekly hour of television at 29 months corresponded to a 7 percent drop in classroom attention and a 6 percent drop in math skills, the researchers found.
An hour more TV a week as a toddler meant a child was 10 percent more likely to be bullied, exercised 13 percent less, weighed 5 percent more and ate 10 percent more snacks, they found.
“Despite clear, age-specific recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that discourage any screen media exposure during infancy and less than two hours per day beyond 2 years of age, parents show poor factual knowledge and awareness of such existing guidelines,” the researchers wrote.
So, the bottom line, it seems to me, is the less TV time your children have, the better.
Also, I have a number of blogs on TV and kids:
- Daycare May Feed Your Kids’ TV Habit
- Time spent watching television may be linked to increased risk of death
- New analysis reasserts video games’ link to violence
- TV, Computers Linked to Weak Relationships
- TV watching is linked to aggression in kids. You think?
- Television Viewing Linked to Blood Pressure Increases in Children
- Yet another study suggests television viewing may impair children’s language development
- In summer, kids need real play time
- A Television-Free Home: Is It for You?
- Tips for Taming the TV
- Study links teen pregnancy to sexy TV shows
- Teens with TV in their bedroom highly unhealthy
- Should Children Have TVs in their Bedrooms?
- Background TV disruptive for very young children
- Turn off TV during meals or kids may get fat: study
For tips on how to decrease TV time for you and your children, order one of these books:
- Super Sized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat
- God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Child
- God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Teen