I have three children under the age of 7, and they watch a lot of television. I'm worried that it's too much. Should I limit their TV viewing?
Television can be a source of learning and entertainment. But too much TV can take away from other activities, such as exercising, playing with friends, reading, and doing homework.
Studies have shown that kids who watch too much TV are more likely to be overweight — and, depending on the content of what they see, more aggressive. Excess TV viewing also has been linked to poor grades, sleep problems, and behavior problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under age 2 not watch any television and that older kids not spend more than 2 hours a day watching TV or otherwise using a screen (via DVDs, video games, computer use not related to school, tablets, and smartphones). Also, the content of what they do view should be nonviolent and educational.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013