TV Linked to ADHD in Children
Much has changed since the 1950's when televisions first became affordable for the mass audience. Studies show that 99% of American households now have at least one TV.
We now have access to hundreds of channels and there isn't much that writers and producers can't do. With this boom in viewing options, there has also been an increase in the number of interested viewers and the amount they are willing to watch. However, easy entertainment has its drawbacks.
Major investigations are underway to determine how this increased television viewing is affecting our youth. One conclusion is ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In support of this conclusion, studies show a spike in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD in the 1950's and a higher spike in the mid 1980's when VCRs became normal household equipment.
Dr. Christakis, lead researcher and director of the Child Health Institute at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington explains: "In contrast to the way real life unfolds and is experienced by young children, the pace of TV is greatly sped up..." Quick scene shifts of video images become "normal" to a baby "when in fact, it's decidedly not normal or natural." It is believed that this exposure may over-stimulate the developing brain of infants and young children.
In fact, Dr. Christakis points out that for every hour a child under four watches TV, their chances for developing an attention disorder increase by 10%. Still, 26% of American toddlers have TVs in their bedrooms, and 36% of American families leave the TV on all day, whether someone is watching or not.
For this reason, pediatricians now recommend that children under age 4 watch no more than one hour of television a day. Though television is easy entertainment, there are so many other, more beneficial, ways for children to enjoy their days. Try filling the time that would have been used to watch TV with drawing, dancing, reading, playing games and sports, and family time. As hard as writers and producers try, TV just can't compare to real life experiences and time shared together.
Concerned you or your child may have ADHD? Want to track progress with an ADHD treatment? Need a way to work with your ADHD child's teacher? Take our Complete ADHD Assessment today!