Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 23, 2017
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Turn off the tube

How much TV elementary school children should watch? I'm concerned about negative social messages they see.


This has been a matter of concern for some time. It’s estimated that kids watch an average of 3 hours of TV a day and up to 6½ hours if you include video and computer games. Studies have shown links between television watching and violent and aggressive behaviour, increased obesity, poor body- and self-image, substance abuse and decreased school performance. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations for television viewing for children in 2001. The principles of the recommendations are to limit kids’ TV viewing to 1-2 hours per day of monitored quality programs. Children under 2 should not watch television to the extent possible. They recommend that TV sets be removed from kids’ rooms. Programs should be monitored and those with explicit sexual content, violence or profanity shouldn’t be allowed or should be watched with parents and discussed. Finally, other activities ought to be encouraged such as hobbies, reading, playing with friends and physical activity.

Anna K. Skorzewska, MD

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