I just read a really disturbing article in Great Schools.org. Great Schools is a very reputable site concerned with giving kids the best possible start in life. I would really like every parent to read this and heed the warning! Here are the highlights:
Research shows having a boob tube in your kiddo’s bedroom can be far more damaging than we ever knew.
By Jessica Kelmon
- The average person will watch nine years of TV. Nine. Years.
- And it starts early. The average American youth spends roughly 900 hours in school each year — and about 1,200 hours a year watching TV. (To do the math: 1,200 hours is 150 school days.)
- In one study, kids ages 4 to 6 were asked whether they’d like to spend time with their dad or watch TV — 54 percent of them picked pixels over pops.
- An estimated 71 percent of American kids ages 8 to 18 have a TV in their room. One study found 70 percent of third graders had bedside boob tubes.
- Here’s the really bad news: researchers followed the kids and their parents two and four years later and discovered a TV in your bedroom is linked with both being overweight and continuing to gain weight. Two years in, kids with TVs in their rooms reported higher BMIs. After two more years, their BMIs had grown again. What’s particularly noteworthy is that obesity isn’t linked isn’t to the hours of TV being watched. It’s to the presence of the TV in their room. . .Certainly, having a TV in a child’s bedroom sets kids up to be sedentary and isolated — choosing, day after day and hour after hour, to be alone and immobile — an unhealthy way of life for any child.
- Kids with TVs in their rooms read less, score lower on tests in school, tend to have sleep issues, and may be more likely to smoke in adolescence.
- In 2011, 8 percent of all families had iPads; in 2013, that figure was 40 percent, according to Common Sense Media. What’s more, as of 2013, 75 percent of children 8 years old and younger have access to a smartphone or a tablet. All of these findings add up to the fact that it’s never been easier — TV or no TV — for children to be transfixed by endless hours of videos on YouTube, TV shows on Hulu, and movies on Netflix from the comfort of their rooms.
You may download a pdf version of the complete article here: Is There a TV in Your Child’s Bedroom?