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Page 16 of 19

What about TV and the electronic media I have been told that according to statistics: • 2/3rds of babies and toddlers watch a screen for an average of 2 hours a day • Children under 6 years old watch a screen for an average of 2 hours a day, mostly TV and DVDs or videos. • From 8 years to 18 spend almost 4 hours a day in front of TV and another approximately 2 hours on a computer and or playing video games. This does not count the time spent on computers while in school! The first two years of life are the most critical for brain development. The electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing and interacting with real people. It is this interaction with parents and others that encourages learning, social development and healthy physical development. TV in moderation can be educational For example TV can be helpful assisting pre-schoolers to learn the alphabet, and older children to learn about nature and animals. It can be educational and entertaining. Even though this is true too much TV can be detrimental. Why? • Those who watch more than 4 hours per day are more likely to be overweight. While they are watching TV or playing electronic games children are more likely to snack and are physically inactive. As well they are bombarded with advertisements for junk food. Ever seen ads for apples during a kids programme? In America it is estimated that children will see 40,000 commercials a year! That is staggering! 16

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