TV damages young children - the evidence is overwhelming
03 May 2010
We have so many health scares, some more important than others, that it always amazes me that we never have one about the dire effect of TV on young children. I have said for years that you would be better off giving your children neat gin than letting them watch TV when they are very young, or ever to watch it unsupervised (and believe me, for those who miss the point of this statement - as some always do - I wouldn't advise the gin either).
Now, as with the poison cannabis (falsely promoted as 'soft' and harmless by evil and stupid people), the science is piling up on my side - though it is still quite socially acceptable to bung small infants in front of the TV as a 'third parent' and there is a whole BBC channel apparently devoted to providing programmes for tiny children who shouldn't, in my view, be watching at all. the rest
The study found that for every extra hour of TV a week that the two-year-olds watched, there was a 6 per cent decrease in maths achievement, a 7 per cent decrease in classroom engagement and a 10 per cent increase in 'victimisation' (eg teasing, rejection and assault) by their peers. Each extra hour also corresponded with 9 per cent less exercise, consumption of 10 per cent more snacks and a 5 per cent rise in Body-Mass Index.