Most kids are familiar with the world of television long before they start school.
  • In fact, almost two-thirds of babies and toddlers watch television for an average of 2 hours a day.
  • Kids under the age of 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, mainly TV, videos or DVDs.
  • Kids and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 18 years spend almost four hours a day in front of a television screen and almost an additional 2 hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games.
Experts recommend that infants under the age of 2 years old do not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.
The first two years of your child’s life are considered a critical time for brain development. Television and other forms of electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing and interacting with parents and others which helps learning and healthy physical and social development.
As children get older, too much screen time can interfere with activities such as being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends and spending time with family.
Of course, TV in moderation can be a positive learning tool, preschoolers can get help learning the alphabet, school children can learn about wildlife on nature shows and older children can learn from the news about current affairs. There is no doubt about it; television can be an excellent education tool.
But despite its advantages, too much television has many disadvantages:
  • Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight.
  • Kids who watch violence on television are more likely to display violent behaviour but also fear that the world is a scary place and that something bad will happen to them.
  • TV characters often depict risky behaviours, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
That's why it's vital that you monitor the content of TV programming and set viewing limits to ensure that your kids don't spend too much time parked in front of the TV.



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