Claire McCarthy, M.D. emphasizes the importance of limiting TV screen time to parents in her practice:
Like most of my colleagues, I talk about screen time at almost all checkups. I talk about how too much screen time makes a kid more likely to be overweight and have behavioral problems. With the parents of babies and small children, I talk about how experts think they shouldn’t watch TV at all, and about how it can get in the way of learning. I encourage parents to limit screen time, not have TV’s in bedrooms and turn off the TV at meals. We talk about other things they might do instead.
A recent study in Pediatrics showed that counseling parents of preschoolers about the risks of too much screen time along with suggestions to reduce it — keep TV’s out of kids’ bedrooms, no TV during mealtimes — had very little effect. McCarthy is discouraged:
It’s hard to change behavior. For reasons that I don’t entirely understand, it’s particularly hard to change TV behavior–perhaps because TV is convenient, kids like it, and their parents do too. And given that TV is only one of the many things I need to talk about at a checkup, I can’t talk about it for very long.
Read Dr. McCarthy’s article at KevinMD.com here.
Abstract from Pediatrics study here.