Pediatric advice on TV, video games and Internet access

Pediatric experts recommend you teach your children to show restraint in use of electronics. A 2017 study by Iowa State University found that children who had TV or video game systems in their room were less likely to do well in school, are more likely to suffer obesity and are at greater risk of addiction to video games. In addition to reduced time spent in physical activities, they spend less time reading and sleeping.

There are some dangers you don’t need to worry about. Sitting too close to the TV will not damage your child’s eyesight — that’s an old wives’ tale. But long periods of time sitting anywhere aren’t going to improve your child’s health any. Pediatric experts recommend a certain amount of face-to-face socialization with peers for any child. Video games are made to be addictive. And of course there are any number of different kinds of trouble your child can get into on the Internet.

Make sure you control access to electronics

Especially for children, fighting temptation is a lot easier when it isn’t actually in the room. If you haven’t put a TV, video game system or computer with Internet access in your child’s bedroom, resist the urge to do so. (If you have already done so, taking it out will probably be interpreted as punishment for something and may not be worth the extra psychological stress on your child and you.) Talk to your children about responsible use of TV and computers (and games, if you’re a gamer). Most of all, make sure you are already exercising restraint in your own use — children are never convinced by anything that looks like hypocrisy.

The key to managing TV, video games and the Internet is not to deprive children of access, but to make that access something to be taken in small doses of previously agreed-upon size. A TV or computer in a separate room, which has to be shared with the rest of the family, is less easy to get addicted to. Don’t let your child watch TV while doing homework — he or she needs to learn to concentrate on one thing at a time.

A pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a center for pediatric medicine conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, having been founded in 1956. It has become a local institution, serving three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If your family needs to find a pediatric practice, call today.