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According to the findings of a United States survey published in the latest issue of Pediatrics, keeping the television droning in the background can be harmful to your child’s well-being and development.

The survey, conducted in over 1,400 American households, found that children aged 6-8 years are exposed to nearly four hours of background TV (wherein the TV is playing but the child is attending to another activity), while infants and toddlers are exposed to nearly 5 ½ hours. The researchers found this trend to be most rampant in single-parent and lower-income households in the US. They added that background TV can impair a young child’s cognitive functioning by diverting his/her attention from creative play and other social interactions.

This news should give modern, working parents another thing to feel guilty about, especially since plonking your toddler in front of the TV set so that you can get some work done is common practice. The belief that very young children cannot be influenced by TV since they do not understand the content is obviously shortsighted. The study especially blames TV sets placed in bedrooms for the negative effects of background TV on the kids in a household.

As a solution, the researchers recommend turning off the TV when no one is watching or taking smaller steps to reduce exposure, such as turning off the TV at key points during a child’s day, i.e. during mealtime and at bedtime.

About The Author

Uttarika is a former journalist who believes nothing is too small to merit an earnest review. She enjoys writing about food, beauty & makeup products, and a little bit of technology now and then.

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