Milupa Canada

Because healthy babies are happy babies

Children and TV viewing habits

Many parents worry about exposing their children to too much television. But how much TV is too much, and how do you manage your child’s behaviour around TV watching?

Set the limits from the start

Don’t let your child have a TV in the bedroom, and keep it turned off during meals. If possible, keep your child entertained with play and other activities that will help her develop her mind and body.

When children are still under the age of two it’s recommended to keep their TV viewing time to a bare minimum. If you do allow your child to watch TV, break it up into a few 10 to 15 minute slots. Between the ages of two and three total daily viewing should be limited to a maximum of an hour per day.

Why should TV viewing be limited?

Excessive TV viewing encourages negative habits

Research into children’s TV watching habits has shown that children who sit in front of the TV for long periods of time are more likely to become obese, and less likely to enjoy activities like sports and energetic play.

It’s also been found that children who watch lots of TV don’t interact with their families well, and carry out less creative play. The content of modern TV shows is also a concern. Sexual and violent scenes can have a strong influence on the behaviours of young children.

Selective and active viewing

There are some programmes on TV that have been specifically designed by their producers to help develop and enhance the lives of young children, giving them mental and physical stimulation.

These include programmes that introduce new concepts around numbers and words, and that you and your child can continue to discuss after they’ve finished. Check the schedules in your area and watch programmes first before you allow your child to watch them. Then decide whether you think the content will help your child to develop.