The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children aged two and older watch no more than two hours of television per day. They also recommend that children under two watch no television at all.
According to a new study, even one hour more a day can diminish a preschooler’s vocabulary and math skills as well as classroom attention.
“Every hourly increase in daily television watching from two and a half years old is also associated with bullying by classmates, and physical prowess at kindergarten,” Professor Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital said in the study.
At that young age, a child’s brain is wired to play. “These kids are watching too much television at a time when they should be out there in the environment exploring and interacting, especially with other humans,” Pagani added in the study.
Watching television does not teach a child social or motor skills. “If you don’t learn those skills, you get to kindergarten and cry every time someone takes your toy,” Pagani said in the study.
The study involved 991 girls and 1,006 boys in Quebec. Their parents reported their television viewing behavior as part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development.