Television and your child

The average American child spends about 26 hours per week watching television. When the 60 middle-aged children began to watch television was 2.8 years and is now 9 months! Our children begin watching television at an early age, and spend much time in front of the tube. May affect your health in any way?

The first two years of a child’s life represents a critical window for neurological development. Studies show that television before age 3 was associated with attention and cognitive problems at school age. Scientists say that even programs like Sesame Street, may delay the acquisition of language by children looked too young.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 2 years watch television, and older than 2 years spend no more than 1-2 hours a day watching television. These recommendations are based on the results of research showing that television has a strong influence on health. Furthermore, television is a sedentary activity, contributes to less energy expenditure for children, and the rate of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents in the United States has doubled in the past two decades.

The increase of sandwiches

Children watching television are subject to a lot of advertisements promoting unhealthy foods high in fat and sugar. Research has shown that television over an hour of television per day was associated with a much higher consumption of fast food, candy, chips, pizza, fruits and vegetables.

Nationally representative data have shown that the prevalence of tea increased in all age groups in the past 20 years, and we know that more than nibble means an increase in energy consumption of the average daily driving to weight gain. You can see many hours of television have nothing to do with the obesity epidemic in the United States?


Watching television is sedentary, and children who are not physically active have a higher risk of being obese. Countless studies show a relationship between television viewing and weight gain. Television moves sedentary physical activity, metabolic rate decreases and caloric intake leading to overweight.

Physical health problems

Overweight in childhood is associated with a number of physical health problems, some immediate, some are as long-term consequences and emerging adulthood. Some health problems that have been paid to childhood obesity are hypertension, heart disease and gall bladder and diabetes. In addition, studies show the association between obesity and asthma severity, abnormal liver enzymes as a result of the accumulation of fat in the liver, and sleep apnea.

Poor manual dexterity

Preschool children watch television could develop sufficient manual dexterity due to lack of activities such as play dough, scissors with plastic paint, fingers, playing a toy piano, etc.


Being overweight affects the mental health of children and adolescents. Overweight children report assumptions about them by others, including sloths, strong, stronger than others, not having feelings and being impure. Due to the negative connotations of obesity, obese children are at risk for developing negative self-image, which can persist into adulthood.


Observational and experimental studies show that TV violence causes real-life aggression among children in three ways. First, repeated exposure to TV violence can desensitize children to violence. Second, watching favorite TV superheroes to act violently, you can sand a message that such behavior is acceptable, justified and desirable. Finally, television violence can send a message that the world is a place of fear and aggression is a form of survival.


Decades ago, there was a theory that the rapid changes in television image and sound can be overwhelming to young children and lead to neurological attention problems in the future. Recent scientific findings have shown that television in years 1-3 years is associated with ADHD at age 7 years). The researchers found that watching television five hours a day at the age of 1 year was associated with an increase of 28% in the probability of having ADHD at the age of seven years!

Risk behaviors

Television shows many risk behaviors. Countless movies are filled with images of drinking, smoking cigarettes and obscene language. Marketing of beer ads are prominent and send a message that “cool people” drink alcohol, that influence pre-adolescents and adolescents’ attitudes toward drinking. Several studies have shown that adolescents had a greater exposure to alcohol and cigarettes on television were more likely to engage in drinking water and / or smoking.

Intimate relationships on television often portrayed as sexual behavior without consequences, or a game. Rarely shows mentions the need for protection, or discuss the meaning of responsible sexuality in the context of a serious relationship.

Note to Parents

No doubt TV is an integral part of life in the 21st century. However, should never be taken for granted. The effects of television on children are real. Parents can use TV as a tool to teach children about different aspects of life. The key is that they have control over what is seen and how much time their children spend watching television.

Tips for viewing the TV sound

– Having a television in a central location (not your child’s room), so you can control the amount and quality of programs watched
– Not allowed to eat while watching TV (or fruit and vegetables)
– Watch TV together. It will be available to discuss what is happening on the screen
– Teach your children to watch television critic (TV has a point of view!)
– Reinforce the positive messages of television programs, and discuss the negative effects. Television can be a springboard for a discussion of good family and teach their children right from wrong

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