Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Early Childhood TV Watching and Effects Later in Life

The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine published research on television watching at 2 and 4 years of age and its effects when the children are 10 years of age. Parents reported how much television was watched during the early years. Parents and teachers also reported on academic, psychosocial, and health behaviors and body mass index measurements when the children were 10 years of age. The results indicated that television watching delayed development in children. The study indicated that every additional hour of television exposure at 29 months corresponded to:
1. 7% decrease in classroom engagement
2. 6% decrease in math achievement
3. 10% increase in victimization by classmates
4. 13% decrease in time spent doing weekend physical activity
5. 9% decrease in activities involving physical effort
6. 9% higher consumption of drinking soft drinks
7. 10% higher consumption of eating snacks
8. 5% increase in body mass index

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics the average child watches three hours of television. Can you imagine the effects on the children on the higher end of viewing times? Now add in computer use and video game use. Scary numbers for an upcoming generation...

This is an easy, preventable solution. Turn off the television and let children play. Need ideas to encourage children's sensory motor development? Check out these titles:

Motor Magic
Sensory Motor Activities for Summer
50 Sensory Motor Activities for Kids!
Scavenger Hunts

Reference: Linda S. Pagani, PhD; Caroline Fitzpatrick, MA; Tracie A. Barnett, PhD; Eric Dubow, PhD Prospective Associations Between Early Childhood Television Exposure and Academic, Psychosocial, and Physical Well-being by Middle Childhood Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(5):425-431

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