Spotlight back on no TV for tots under 3

Experts call for limit on children’s screen time to prevent long-term health problems

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Experts are urging parents to ban under-threes from watching TV as it could lead to health problems later in life.

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Leading psychologist Dr Aric Sigman discovered limiting a toddler’s time in front of the screen could have significant benefits for his wellbeing – physically and developmentally.

The study, reported in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, revealed the average 10-year-old has access to at least five different screens at home, and by the age of seven, will have spent a full year glued to them.

“In addition to the main family television, many young children have their own bedroom TV along with hand-held computer consoles, smartphones with games, internet and video, and/or a tablet computer” said Dr Sigman, as reported by BBC news.

The extensive use of these electronic devices has been linked to obesity problems, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

Dr Sigman also believes parents are using these “electronic babysitters” to occupy their children, claiming, “Screen time appears to have created the three-parent family.” 

The child health expert is urging mums and dads to delay their little one’s TV consumption until the age of three, and then limit it to a session of just half-an-hour to an hour each day.

This isn’t the first time Dr Sigman has spoken out on the issue. In 2007 he warned MPs that letting toddlers watch execessive television each day could put them at risk of health problems such as attention-deficit disorder and autism.

How much TV do you let your little one watch in a day?

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