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Dec-16-2013 03:05printcomments

Europe Children Between 4 and 12 Spend Almost 3 Hours a Day in Front of TV

All experts converge on the need to control the time and the contents, and that means removing from the child's room all digital screens.

Children watching TV

(MADRID) - Children watch, passively, television, computers, mobile phones or ipads. Given this reality, a team of British pediatricians asserts in a research released in the medical journal "Archives of Disease in Childhood" that children under three should not be in contact with so many digital displays. For kids between 3 and 16, they suggest that a maximum of two hours a day should be set. The experts argue that spending more time in front of screens can cause damage to the physical and cognitive growth of children and overweight, heart problems, attention deficit or lack of empathy.

The study shows that, today in Britain, children by the age of 10 years have regular access to an average of five different screens at home. In addition to the main family television, their own bedroom TV along with portable handheld computer game consoles (eg, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox), smartphone with games, internet and video, a family computer and a laptop and/or a tablet computer (eg, iPad).

In Spain, the kids aged 4 to 12 years, with an average of two hours and 44 minutes a day, are the biggest TV watchers in Europe, exceeded only by the Italians, who spend two hours and 50 minutes, according to the study "Kids TV Report". The safety and security coordinator of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics suggests that time does not exceed the daily hour when children are very young and no more than two hours each day, for those who have more than three years.

He also stresses the importance of physical exercise, "at least an hour a day", to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Also, the chief of psychiatry at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid, says that watching television in moderation is not harmful to the children, " as long as the programs they watch are appropriate to their age. What one can never do is to abandon the child in front of the TV so he does not bother". Similarly one should avoid the use of mobile phone or tablet to entertain the child and to not whine, because that way "bad habits are created. Children need to mourn, take tantrums and learn that they can not do everything".

Moreover, psychologists and educators are most supporters of "limit" than of "prohibit". "Do not be afraid of new technologies", they say. The disappointment comes when the kid loses touch with reality. “The child needs play, fight, and learn to apologize ... Because if he does not learn, we generate highly dependent, solitary and unsociable types”.

All experts converge on the need to control the time and the contents, and that means removing from the child's room all digital screens. "Having the TV in the child's room can trigger sleep disorders. The room should be just a place of rest".



Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer Roselló, a prestigious Spanish advertising character, presents a fascinating personal and professional career fully devoted to the world of communication in its varied dimensions. He earned a PhD in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, BA in Advertising from the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona Master in Marketing from the School of Marketing Studies in Madrid.

He has been Associate Professor of Business Management at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Navarra and a contributor to the Madrid daily ABC. He also spent several years teaching, both in the Official School of Advertising as the School of Information Sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid. In 1985 he was awarded the Gold Master, granted by the Senior Management Forum and AMPE Prize 1996 to the "long and brilliant career advertising."

You can write to Clemente at this address:


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