July 30, 2010, Newsletter Issue #215: TV Viewing Tips for Preschoolers

Tip of the Week

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting your preschooler's screen time (TV, computer games, movies) to no more than one or two hours a day. Studies have linked excessive screen time to obesity, behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and deficient sleep. Too much TV can also interfere with playing sports, doing homework, and spending quality family time together. However, a little screen time can be beneficial. Preschoolers can learn early literacy and math skills, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills by watching educational programs. Here are some suggestions for a making TV-viewing a positive experience in your home.

Keep the TV and the computer out of your preschooler's bedroom.
Turn the TV off if you aren't watching it.
Don't watch TV during meals.
Set a timer next to the computer, and enforce the limit when time is up.
Preview programs before your child watches it, or watch the program together.
Discuss what you see on TV with your child.
Set a good example by limiting your own screen time.
Suggest fun alternatives to TV such as playing a game, reading, taking a walk together, or listening to music.



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