Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pull The Plug! Television and Our Children

By Gariane Phillips Gunter, M.D.

Research and studies over the past 10 years have shown that heavy television watching may in fact lead to serious health consequences. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. statistics, in a 65-year life, a person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube! However, what is becoming more and more evident, is our children’s excessive exposure to television. The following statistics regarding our children are astounding:

• Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5 minutes

• Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680 minutes

• Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children’s TV watching: 73%

• Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54%

• Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours

• Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500 hours

The dates for TV Turnoff Week 2010 are April 19-25 and September 19-25. Let’s unplug our children!

During TV Turnoff Week families can:

• Go for a walk after dinner instead of watching TV,

• Dust off the board games in your hall closet and have a family game night,

• Grab a pen and paper and create your own game of charades,

• Read a book together,

• Or just talk with each other.

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