Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Including my home, many parents let their children watch T.V. for sometime (min being 1/2 hour). However, more and more articles have been published on the harmful effects of T.V watching on children.

It has been very essential to keep track on how much time Arav spends before T.V. and I noted that past one month he has been spending more than 2 hours on T.V. The navrathri holidays were packed with sweets, a little of playing and lots of T.V. I can immediately notice a difference in his mannerisms and habits. So, everyday for the past one week, we have gradually reduced T.V. watching. From today I am locking all the channels. Might face tantrums for some time, but I am going to try anyways.

Here is one article of interest published by The Hindu:

"Children who spend more than two hours a day at a computer or watching television are more likely than others to have psychological problems, scientists claim.Researchers found that 11-year-olds who clocked up several hours in front of a screen each day scored worse on questionnaires designed to measure psychological health, regardless of how much physical exercise they got.

Angie Page, who led the study at the University of Bristol, said that as a precaution parents might consider limiting how long their children spend in front of a screen to no more than two hours a day.The study of 1,013 children in the Bristol area in south-west England found no evidence that sitting in front of a screen actually causes mental health problems. Alternatively, the findings might be a result of children with psychological difficulties, such as extreme shyness, being more likely to choose TV or computer games over more sociable activities.

“There's no evidence one way or the other and it could be either,” Dr. Page told the Guardian. But she added that some healthy children might be at greater risk of developing psychological problems if they increased their viewing time.

In the study, children were asked whether they agreed, disagreed or partially agreed with a list of statements, including, “I generally play alone or keep to myself” and, “I am often unhappy, downhearted or tearful”. They then added details of how much exercise they took and how long they spent at a TV or computer screen. Their levels of exercise were verified by activity monitors worn on their belts for a week.

Writing in the journal Pediatrics, the team explain that while children who did little exercise fared well on the psychological assessments, those who filled their inactive time watching television or at a computer scored badly.

According to the study, children who spent more than two hours a day at a screen had a 60 per cent higher risk of psychological problems than children who clocked up fewer viewing hours. The risk was only slightly higher in children who did little or no exercise.

"You can't rely on physical activity to compensate for long hours of screen viewing. Physical activity is good for health in many ways, but parents should consider restricting their children's screen viewing,” Dr. Page said. “We don't have any guidelines on screen viewing in the U.K., but this paper would support the two-hour limit as a reasonable threshold.” Australia and the U.S. have adopted guidelines that advise parents to restrict the viewing time of children under two to no more than two hours a day, but there is no similar recommendation in Britain."

 Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Just how much TV should children watch?
The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : Just how much TV should children watch?

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