What Every Parent Needs To Know About TV

 how tv affects your child

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What Every Parent Needs to Know About TV

This TED Talk is an important 16 minutes for any parent. I tell my clients to view the following as  health and safety issues. 

  • Sleep – Healthy sleep habits are a HUGE part of good health and development.
  • Diet – Good nutrition can affect our children well into adulthood
  • Tv – Is a controlled substance. The less the better. Use it strategically when you need it, limit the use and be mindful of what your child is watching. 

Our children know that we are in charge of their health and safety. It is a large part of what makes them feel healthy and safe. There are many reasons to reduce the amount of time your children spend in front of the blue screen. Here are a few. 

Research in this area is showing nothing positive in the effects of TV on the growing brain. If you do see any positive research check out who funded it. As of ten years ago it was all funded by network TV and large media conglomerates.

Research suggests the following…

  1. More than three hours of TV each day can harm a toddler’s vocabulary and math skills.
  2. TV can lead to childhood obesity.
  3. TV leads to inattention, ADD and ADHD.
  4. TV stimulates children before bedtime and deadens the brain in the morning hours. There is less brain activity going on than during sleep. But it is not restful inactivity it is overstimulation that leads to the brain needing to numb out and check out.
  5. Every hour over the recommended two hours a day for young children could increase their chances of being bullied.

I fully understand the attraction as well as the distraction of TV, media, and screen time.  However, do consider the following…

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV during the first two years of your baby’s life. For ages two and up no more than two hours a day. 
  • This might be a conservative amount of time based on new research (see video below).
  • Our children will spend a lifetime in front of a blue screens. I recommend putting it off for as long as possible.
  • The blue light emitted from the screen affects melatonin production and can interrupt their sleep as well as our own.
  • If your toddler is having a hard time winding down at night turning off the screen at least 2-3 hours before bedtime can make all the difference. 

Before you turn on the TV, computer or Ipad you might want to take a look at the findings discussed in this video.

If you decide to go with an occasional video or program Dr. Christakis will  also give you ideas on what is most appropriate for younger ages and why.



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