The popularity of TV enriches children’s life and broadens their horizons, but watching TV too much has a negative impact on children’s physical, psychological, learning and social interaction.

TV is harmful to children’s health

Eric Sigman, a leading British psychologist, wrote in the daily mail on September 11 that children should not watch TV until they are three years old, otherwise it will cause irreversible harm to their health.

A large amount of data collected by psychologist and biologist Sigman in the past 10 years shows that no matter what content you watch before the age of 3, it will have a serious impact on your children’s future health. Therefore, he suggests that it is necessary to limit the amount of time children spend watching TV every day in the same way as limiting their salt and fat intake.

The research shows that the key problem is not the content of TV programs, but the age of watching TV and the time of watching TV. In many ways, many children’s educational TV programs, such as “Teletubbies”, have little difference between the physical harm and violent games.

So why does “screen time” such as watching TV, watching CDs, playing computer games or surfing the Internet have more adverse effects on health than sedentary activities such as reading or knitting? The main reason, according to the researchers, is that we are instinctively attracted to television. This has something to do with human orientation response (i.e., attention response to new stimuli). Any movement and sudden change of vision or hearing will attract our attention. A number of studies have shown that even lying babies who find such changes naturally turn their heads 180 degrees to “see what it is.”. From the perspective of psychology and biology, this kind of reaction is an evolutionary mechanism and survival instinct.

In 2006, a study involving a group of 6-13-year-old children who normally watch TV at the University of Florence in Italy found that their melatonin level increased by 30% when they did not watch TV or use computers for one week in a row. Melatonin is a hormone that causes sleep and is also essential for healthy immune system and puberty regulation. Watching TV does inhibit melatonin production, which may be one of the main reasons why puberty in girls is one year earlier than 20 years ago.

In addition, many hormones related to metabolism are also affected by watching TV. A study released this summer by the University of Sydney in Australia said that among 290 15-year-old boys, children who watch TV or CD or play computer for more than two hours a day have significantly higher levels of biochemical markers in their blood, which are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in the future.

Screen time also triggers the release of dopamine, a brain chemical involved in learning and attention, the study found. When we see new things and experience new feelings, the brain releases dopamine. Its function is to make attention more focused. However, regular TV watching will cause the continuous increase of dopamine, which will lead to the decrease of brain sensitivity. Therefore, it is difficult for these children to focus on other things (books or teachers, etc.) that do not have strong stimulating effects later in the day. This is the same reason that “people who like to eat salty food find that less salty food has no flavor”. Since the brain development is about 80% complete before the age of 3, watching TV before the age of 3 is the most serious damage to the brain.

On the other hand, a new study this year by the Melbourne Institute of heart and diabetes found that adults who watched TV for one hour a day increased their risk of death from heart disease by 18%; and those who watched TV for more than four hours a day increased their risk of fatal heart disease by 80%.

It can be seen that TV has the reverse harm to children’s health, so quantitative restriction should be implemented, so as to avoid TV harm as much as possible! Baibai safety net’s knowledge about children’s home electric shock prevention is still being updated. Please lock in our relevant columns!