been a rough morning: You've been chasing your active toddler
around for hours, and it's not even noon! You're tempted to
pop in a video so you can rest for a few minutes; after all,
what's the harm if your child watches a little television?
More than you might think, according to a new study.
Research recently published in Pediatrics shows that the
more time young children spend watching television, the more
likely they are to develop attention problems by age 7. Researchers
studied two groups of children - ages 1 and 3. On average,
the children viewed 2.2 and 3.6 hours of television each day,
respectively (although some watched as many as 12 or more
hours). Ten percent of those same children had developed attention-related
problems by the age of 7.
The researchers concluded that early childhood television
viewing may be associated with inattention later on, and speculated
that the risk increases with every additional hour of television
watched; however, they add that additional research is still
needed on the subject to assess the full impact of TV on childhood
But why take chances with your little one? Before reaching
for that remote, try occupying your children through more
productive means, such as books, blocks or puzzles. These
activities will help build their critical-thinking and problem-solving
skills, and they may reduce the risk of developing behavioral
problems down the line.
Dimitri AC, Zimmerman FJ, DiGiuseppe DL, McCarty CA. Early
television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in
children. Pediatrics 2004;113(4):708-13.
For more information on pediatric health, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/pediatrics.