Young children today are plugged into technology at a young age like devices of TV’s , tablets, phones, sometimes well before they can even ride a bicycle
Research proves that watching T.V. may damage children’s brain development leading to increased anti-social behaviour. There is also a correlation between the amount of TV children watch and the degree of educational damage they suffer according to Dr Sigman. Significant long-term damage occurs even at so-called modest levels of viewing- between one and two hours a day- it can dramatically increase their risk of myopia, slow down their metabolic rate and may trigger premature puberty.
It was also found to lead to a “significantly elevated risk” of sleep problems in adulthood, causing hormone changes, which in turn directly increase appetite and body fat production and damage the immune system, leading to a greater vulnerability to cancer.
Dr Sigman said “A dose – response relationship between the amount of television children watch and the degree of educational damage they suffer is now emerging that has biological plausibility. Television viewing is now also linked to with stunting brain development in the child’s frontal lobes, leading to reduced impulse control and increased anti-social behaviour”.
Dr Sigman, who is a Member of Britain’s Institute of Biology, said the health risks are “the greatest health scandal of our time ……..” Reducing television viewing should be a population health priority.” He goes on to say “What harm could possibly result from preventing very young children from watching television and from reducing the amount of television for two years of age?” He said “There is simply too much at stake not to be responsibly decisive now.” “There’s nothing to be lost by watching less television, but a great deal to be lost by continuing to watch as much as children presently do.” Recommended screening quality time is important E.g. For children over 2 years, T.V programmes that teach things like numbers, letters, songs, manners, art activities, safety, sharing, general knowledge, etc. that have positive messages such as “Dora the Explorer,” “National Geographic,” “Barney,” “Sesame Street” etc. would be considered positive programmes for your child to watch.
Language and social skills are developed during the first two years of a children’s life. Watching TV will not allow your child to develop these skills. Pre-schoolers who spend hours watching TV, find it difficult to concentrate in class, as they are familiar to fast paced graphics and visuals. Allowing your child to watch violent programmes, can lead to unnecessary aggressive, behaviour.
Tips for Parents
- Set rules for T.V. watching early in your children’s lives.
- Set limit time.
- Turn off the T.V. during meal times.
- Take the T.V. out of your child’s bedroom.
- Watch T.V. with your child and discuss the programmes watched and messages put forth.