A new study of the effects of television watching on very young children should sound an alarm for parents.
Much research has focused on the content of television programming, particularly on the impact of TV violence, but the new study published in the April issue of Pediatrics raises questions about whether babies and toddlers should be watching the tube at all.
In the study, researchers found that for every hour per day pre-schoolers watch TV their chance of having attention deficit problems later in life increases by about 10 percent. The study supported a 1999 recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children under age 2 not watch television.
The study of 1-year-olds and 3-year-olds suggested that it wasn't the content of the programming that was causing attention-span problems: It was the unrealistically fast-paced images on the screen. Those images, the researchers suggested, may alter normal brain development in very young children.