Seriously, Too Much TV Is Really Bad For Young Children
We hear it all the time, Too Much TV Is Bad For Kids! I don’t like the inevitable guilt-trip that results when screen time is brought up, but this study is worth mentioning. It shows that an extra hour of TV time can really impact your toddler’s future kindergarten success.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for infants and no more than two hours a day for children over two. The recent study by Professor Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal shows for every hour of TV that children are exposed to over the recommended daily limit – basic social, physical and cognitive abilities suffer:
Pagani noted that the standard deviation is a commonly used statistic tool that tells us what is within a normal range compared to the average. One standard deviation from the average daily amount of television viewed by the toddlers in this sample (105 minutes) is 72 minutes. Some of the children who participated in the study were two or even three standard deviations away from the average, and their kindergarten indicators were correspondingly worse than those who were one standard deviation away.
Every hourly increase in TV time was associated with poorer vocabulary and math skills and classroom engagement. Children who exhibit these diminished skills are also more likely to be picked on.
Two hours of TV time is a pretty hefty amount, but I think if I were to honestly log how much screen time my child was exposed to I would get very close to this daily and probably go over it on days where he is being watched by family and a TV is constantly on. Studies like this one just reinforce that I have to make a more concerted effort to ensure that I am not impairing my child’s development by allowing him to much screen time.