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Back to May Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 220 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MAY 2004

Study Finds TV Harms Tots Brains
Very young children who watch television face an increased risk of attention deficit problems by school age, a new study has found.

For every hour of television watched daily, two groups of children aged 1 and 3 faced a 10% higher risk of attention problems at age 7. The study, led by Dr. Dimitri Christakis in Seattle, involved 1,345 children and was published in the April issue of Pediatrics. It lends support to the American Academy of Pediatrics 1999 recommendation that children under the age of 2 should not watch television.

Content probably isnt the culprit, according to Christakis. Instead, fast-paced visual images typical of TV programming may alter normal brain development. Overstimulation during the first two or three years of development "can create habits of the mind that are ultimately deleterious," he said. (Associated Press, 4-04-04)

The study examined responses by parents in government-sponsored national health surveys. Problems reported by parents included difficulty concentrating, acting restless and impulsive, and being easily confused.


 
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