Are your kids (and you) having too much TV time this summer?
I am never sure if it is fascination of seeing USA TV for the first time in a long time of if it is the issue of jet lag but when I first hit the USA, I watch too much TV. I have seen three things this summer that amaze me.
First: Who would have thought SpongeBob might harm children?
If you’ve been watching the news you’ve probably seen the popular kids cartoon SpongBob SquarePants is under fire for potentially causing short-term attention problems in young kids. A study suggests that watching just nine minutes of the program can cause learning and attention problems in children as young as 4 years old. YIKES!
The study took 60 children and randomly assigned them to watch nine minutes of ‘SpongeBob”, a slower paced show called “Caillou”, or simple draw pictures for the allotted time period. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments the kids took mental function tests. The children who were randomly selected to watch SpongeBob did measurably worse than all the other children.
There have previously been research studies that linked TV watching to long-term attention problems in young children, but this new study suggests a more immediate problem occurring after just nine minutes of exposure. You can read more in the article here. This is not my favorite video about this topic but it does cover the groundwork about attention span and Spongebob and kids.
Second: Who would know that something we have done for ages now hurts us?
Research study now has linked calcium supplements to heart attacks. Doctors and health professionals have told women for years that they should supplement their diets with extra calcium to prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) and fractures, and many of us have taken their advice.
My mother and all of her friends take calcium supplements. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 61 percent of women over age 60 take calcium supplements regularly. Now these same patients have been thrown for a loop by this study. Their pills cause heart attacks. You can read more in the article here. Or watch a video here.
Third: Our best friends are more dangerous in summertime?
Dogs are known to be a man’s best friend, however be careful.. Dogs can be very dangerous to children because children have a tendency to hit or roughly pet dogs, not meaning to hurt them. This may upset a dog or set them off which can lead to dog bites or attacks.
A study published found that young children are more likely to be bitten by a dog in the summer. Why more kids suffer dog bites in the summer is unknown, but possibly it’s because they spend more time outside playing around dogs, researchers suggested, or because dogs are grumpier when it’s hot. You can read more in the article here. Or watch a video here.
As is all new research be careful of where the results came from and who is funding the research.
Remember research needs to have large enough sample sizes that they count and have enough data to make the real connection. I am always eager to learn more about what they are discovering by research when it comes to family life.
This was a very interesting article on TV and children. The research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity on Sunday, found that children who spend more time in front of a screen as preschoolers tend to have larger waistlines and worse muscular fitness as they grow.
I just wish I wasn’t doing all of this at 3 AM.
Notes: Excerpts from