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Effects of the amount of time toddlers watch TV
24 Feb 2014

Television can affect children in many different ways, depending on their age, their stage of development and the content they are viewing.

A study in Canada looked at how the amount of TV children watch as toddlers may affect child health and development when they were older. They found many reasons for encouraging parents to limit the amount of TV watched by young children. One consistent finding was that children who watched more TV when they were toddlers have an increased intake of sweets and soft drinks when they were older. Children who watched more TV as toddlers ate less fruit and vegetables. There is also a clear link between the weight of children and how much they watched TV as toddlers.

Watching TV takes away time from more active play and interacting with other children, and exposes them to more food advertisements.

The Australia Council on Children and the Media recommends that children under 2 years have no screen-based time.

Related 'Parenting and Child Health' topic: Television


Pagani LS, Fitzpatrick C, Barnett, TA, Dubow A, 'Prospective Associations Between Early Childhood Television Exposure and Academic, Psychosocial, and Physical Well-being by Middle Childhood' Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(5):425-431.