Jen Robinson's Book Page posted a link to a study written up in icWales about the risks involved in letting kids watch too much TV. Here are the problems listed in the study:
"The report also notes these research findings:
Early childhood television viewing may be a trigger for autism;
Permanent eyesight damage has been 'strongly linked' to television watching;
Viewing television may be a bigger factor in causing obesity than diet or exercise;
The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increases with each extra daily hour of television viewing among people aged 20 to 60;
TV viewing is associated with irregular sleeping patterns among infants and toddlers;
Watching television significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."
They said more than half of kids today have TVs in their bedrooms. We only have one TV and I used to keep it in the attic so it would be less used. Now it is in the living room so I can cook dinner with only one child hanging onto me at a time. Buddy loves those late afternoon pbs shows, but Punkin is too young to have much of an interest in it. I am glad about that because he is not yet two and pediatricians say under two there shouldn't be any TV viewing. I know they learn so much more by messing around entertaining themselves... even if they are just playing with empty boxes or trying to help stir the soup pot. I have read before that the combination of fast food, soda and watching TV is very damaging to a child's health. Here is more evidence that it is even more harmful than I thought.
The thing is, for young kids there are a lot of shows on pbs. But once they get a little older their tastes change and then they want the shows that have the worst commercials... not to mention all the violence and mature themes... I am really trying to shield my boys from that as long as possible. I am sure by preteen years we will be talking about how to deal with all that is in the media, but if I can keep it out of their brains for a few more years and give them a change to develop a creative intellect I think that will be a life long advantage. I am going to try to cut back on what we are watching. It really is hard, isn’t it?
How do you manage TV and media in your house?