Two hours’ TV a day ‘harms children’

UK Telegraph 02 October 2007
Health experts were most concerned about five-year-olds exposure to TV. Children aged five who watch television programmes for two hours a day are more likely to suffer behavioural problems and poor social skills, research suggests. The findings provide fresh evidence of the harm that too much exposure to television can have on the development of young children. However, children who were weaned off high levels of television-viewing were at little risk of having their development affected.Researchers analysed 2,707 children aged two and five based on information from their parents. They found that 16 per cent watched two or more hours daily only when they were two, 15 per cent only when they were five, and 20 per cent maintained their two-hour viewing habit over the three years. Health experts were most concerned about the children starting to watch television for prolonged periods when they were aged five….The study, carried out at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, als found that 41 per cent of the children involved had a television in his or her bedroom which, among the five-year-olds, led to behavioural problems and lack of sleep. Earlier this year a psychologist told MPs that letting young children watch just an hour and a half of television a day could put them at risk of health problems, including attention-deficit disorder, autism and obesity.