Children and Television

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Nearly every household has access to television programming. With the variety of programs available children are exposed to many factors concerning choice. These choices can lead to a wide array of results depending on the type of content which is viewed. Positive programming can promote the learning of valuable skills and knowledge to enable success in life, while negative programming may have diverse opposite effects. The contents of television programming affect the health, behaviors and learned life skills in children. First, a discussion of physical health concerns. Television viewing by children can cause a variety of physical health concerns. Children face physical health issues because of the amount of time they spend watching television. A couple of these physical concerns are eyesight and eating disorders. The length of time children focus on the television screen, and the proximity they sit from the television screen, causes them to develop eyesight problems. Ideally, children should sit approximately “five feet away” from the television set according to McWilliams and Moulder. (1999) On the contrary, The Nemours Foundation explains the fallacy of children sitting close to television screens is not a cause of eyesight problems because children have the ability to focus at a closer distance than adults. (2010) In either event whether the sitting close to the television is the cause or a sign of an eye problem caution should still be used in not allowing children to sit too close to the television screen. Children also face problems with eating disorders from watching television. Children become fixated on programs causing inattention to their eating habits. Some children will not eat at all while others tend to overeat. These eating disorders are influenced by the content children are viewing through specific programming. One factor of this programming is that the advertisements target children encouraging them to desire specific products, such as...
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