Thursday, September 15, 2011

Screen time needs a time out!

Earlier this week, we posted a research article on our facebook page about how TV shows like SpongeBob effect the development of young children. However, I am concerned that not enough parents understand the negative effects of too much screen time as a whole. We live in a world consumed with technology, such as TV, video games, IPads, lap tops, and more. Many parents see nothing wrong with allowing their children to enjoy these items as long as they deem the content "eduational". However studies show that too much time spent in front of the screen can have a damaging effect on your child's development, such as sleep issues, language delays, obesity, and inability to focus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children under 2 years old should not watch any television and that children older than 2 shouldn't watch more than one to two hours of TV a day. Here are a few facts I discovered in my research:
  • 20 percent of children under 2 have televisions in their rooms. [Source: AAP]

  • Parents spend an average of 3.5 minutes each week in meaningful conversation with their children. [Source: CSUN]
  • The average child watches 1,680 minutes of television each week. [Source: CSUN]
  • 70 percent of day care centers use TV during a typical day. [Source: CSUN]
  • 54 percent of 4-6 year-olds, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, preferred television. [Source: CSUN]
I found some of these statistics quite alarming. I would encourage you to carefully consider where your family stands on this issue. You can find some great tips for encouraging good television habits in your home at this link.

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