Report: Young kids watch more television than necessary

October 1, 2012 1:35:05 PM PDT
How many hours of television do you think your children are watching? The answer may be more than you think.

A child does not have to be sitting in front of the television to feel it's negative effects.

A new study in the Journal Pediatrics looks at background television in the homes of American children.

It finds the average child age 8 months to 8 years is exposed to nearly 4 hours of background television a day.

"Even if it's just background noise, it's imprinting on your child,' said Dr. Ellen Rome, with Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Research has shown that too much tv at a young age can impact cognitive development and social interaction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no tv or screen time at all for children under the age of 2.

After age 2, no more than two hours a day.

"That counts media, video game, computer, and tv, and that means no more than 14 hours a week," adds. Dr. Rome.

The new study finds that exposure to background tv was highest for infants and toddlers, almost 6 hours a day.

African-American children, those in low-income families, and kids with tv's in their bedroom also topped of the list.

The researchers say parents should turn the tv off at bedtime, mealtime and when no one is watching.


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