Watching television is an experience shared by the vast majority of children and adults. It is convenient, inexpensive, available, and attractive. Television can be enormously entertaining for children and can teach them some things, but too frequently it is used as a substitute for other activities.
Studies show that many children watch more television than the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends. The group recommends no TV for children under 2, fewer than 2 hours per day for older children.
Excessive television viewing may cause some of the following problems:
Below are some tips for establishing appropriate television viewing by your children:
Committee on Public Education. Children, adolescents, and television. Pediatrics. 2001;107:423-426.
Thakkar RR, Garrison MM, and Christakis DA. A systematic review for the effects of television viewing by infants and preschoolers. Pediatrics. 2006;118(5):2025-2031.
Johnson JG, Cohen P, Kasen S, Brook JS. Extensive television viewing and the development of attention and learning difficulties during adolescence. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(5): 480-486.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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