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Effects Of Too Much TV and Screen Time On Children and Younger Kids

Michelle Mirizzi • MS, Registered Dietitian • Apr 15, 2012

Information about the influence and effects on children

Preschool Children and Television*:
  • On average, preschool children spend 32 hours a week with screen media. 
  • Direct exposure to TV and overall household viewing are associated with increased early childhood aggression. 
  • The more time preschool children spend with screens, the less time they spend engaged in creative play which is the foundation of learning, constructive problem solving, and creativity
  • On average, preschool children see nearly 25,000 television commercials, a figure that does not include product placement. 
  • Screen time can be habit-forming: the more time children engage with screens, the harder time they have turning them off as older children.
  • Screen time for children under 3 is linked to irregular sleep patterns and delayed language acquisition 
  • The more time preschool children and babies spend with screens, the less time they spend interacting with their parents. Even when parents co-view, they spend less time talking to their children than when they’re engaged in other activities.
  • Toddler screen time is also associated with problems in later childhood, including lower math and school achievement, reduced physical activity, victimization by classmates [9], and increased BMI 
School Aged Children  and Television*:

  • Children ages 8 -18 spend average of 4 1/2 hours per day watching television, 1 1/2 hours using computers, and more than an hour playing video games
  • Time spent with screens is associated with:  childhood obesity, sleep disturbances and attention span issues
  • Children with 2 or more hours of daily screen time are more likely to have increased psychological difficulties, including hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, as well as difficulties with peers. 
  • Children with a television in their bedroom are more likely to be overweight.
  • Especially high rates of bedroom televisions (70-74%) have been seen among racial/ethnic minority children aged 2 to 13 years. 








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Written by Michelle MirizziWritten on Apr 15, 2012Last updated on Mar 19, 2015




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