Thursday, May 6, 2010

Myth: A little TV never hurt anybody...

A new study finds that when toddlers view too much television, it could lead to a host of problems later in life.

Research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows a link between the amount of time children watch TV at age two and academic, social, and health problems at age ten. The study involved about 1,300 Canadian children born in Quebec between 1997 and 1998 who were followed-up at various points in their lives.

Child experts found that two-year-olds who watch too much TV -- more than two hours a day -- were more likely to be picked on by classmates at age ten. They were also more prone to consume more soft drinks, have a higher body mass index, and be less physically active on weekends.

While TV can provide helpful information for children and adults, Melissa Henson with the Parents Television Council (PTC) tells OneNewsNow this research provides an important reminder for parents.

"Even programming that is built as educational really has very little educational benefit for the youngster," she comments. "The child is more likely to grow intellectually [and] developmentally at a faster pace if they're not watching television and instead are looking at books...playing outside, or engaging with other kids or even adults."

Henson also reminds parents that watching too much TV is not just a problem among toddlers, so they should not let their guard down as their children grow older.

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