Children Under 3 Years of Age Shouldn’t Watch TV
Francesca M. Calderon
Farmingdale State College
Running head: CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS OF AGE SHOULDN’T WATCH TV 2
Children all around the world are now watching TV at a younger age. What parents don’t know is that if children between the ages of 1 and 3 watch TV frequently, then they have a higher risk of developing attention problems around the age of 7. Pediatrics have done studies to prove whether there is a correlation between the amount of TV watched and the risk of developing ADHD and other attention problems. They have recommended no TV for children under 3 years of age and no more than 2 hours a day of programming for older kids. According to Lisa Goldstein (2004), TV viewing by young children leads to attention problems. She talked about a study conducted in which researchers used 1,278 children who were one, and 1,345 children who were three. In this study, parents were asked about their children's early TV-viewing habits. They were also to rate their child’s behavior at age 7. From this study and data collection, researchers concluded that 10% of the children in the study had attention problems by age seven. They also concluded that each hour of TV watched on a daily basis at either age one or at age three, increases the risk of those kids having attention problems in the future. Researchers also found that an average of 2.2 hours of TV was watched by 1 year olds and an average of 3.6 hours of TV was watched by three- year olds. Researchers are concerned and recommend parents to avoid letting their kids watch TV if they are under two because they are concerned on how it may affect their development. (Goldstein, 2004)
“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for children younger than 2 and no more than two hours a day of high-quality programming for kids of an older age. Many children watch much more TV.” (“USA Today”, 2004) Researcher, Dimitri Christakis used a Running head: CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS OF AGE SHOULDN’T WATCH TV 3
government based database to see how much TV 1 – 3 year old children watched reported by their mothers, and then related that to their scores on a behavior checklist showing attention problems at age 7. (“USA Today”, 2004) Christakis said that, “frequent TV viewers in early childhood were most likely to score in the highest 10% for restlessness, concentration problems and impulsiveness.” Although scoring within that 10% doesn’t mean a kid automatically has ADHD, they are more likely to have it and can face learning difficulties in the future. Kids watching TV for 3 or more hours a day, have a 30% risk of having attention problems than those kids who watch no TV. Researchers found that every hour added increased their chances of attention problems by 10%. "This study suggests that there is a significant and important association between early exposure to television and subsequent attention problems," Dimitri A. Christakis, the study's lead author and a researcher at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, said in a statement. "There is a tremendous and growing reliance on television for a variety of reasons. However, parents should be advised to limit their young child's television viewing." (“Education week”, 2004)
“Cross-sectional research has suggested that television viewing may be associated with decreased attention spans in children.” (Christakis, McCarty, Zimmerman & DiGiuseppe, 2004) This study was conducted to see whether there was an actual link between television and attention span. They used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a representative longitudinal data set in which their main outcome was the hyperactivity subscale of the Behavioral Problems Index determined on all participants at age 7. Their main predictor was the number of hours each 1 and 3 year old...