A great deal of research has now been carried out on the effects of television on young children. It is recommended that children under the age of two should not be exposed to television at all and children over two for no more than two hours a day and preferably to programmes with high quality content. 

Known problems related to television viewing.

Extended television watching has known links to obesity.

Excessive television watching affects cognitive ability.

Television stimulates the right side of the brain and there is very little retention of information.

Television produces a semi hypnotic state and viewers remain sluggish for some time after ending viewing.

Television has addictive qualities producing a semi vegetative state of relaxation and mellowness.

In such a vegetative state it is likely that viewers will continue to watch programmes even if they are not interested in them.

When the television is switched off real life re-exerts itself often with negative effects. Irritability, boredom, dissatisfaction, depression and low energy levels.

Television advertising creates desires and expectations and young children lack the discernment to realise advertising is in fact a hard selling device. 

Advertising promotes consuming leaving children angry or frustrated when they are refused these objects of desire. 

It is estimated that children in the UK see in excess of 10,000 adverts a year and can name some 400 brands by age 10.

Cognitive ability and problem solving are related to activity, in particular manual dexterity and hand eye coordination, television is the antithesis of this. 

Related information:

Are you addicted to television

TV has negative impact on very young children's learning abilities

Ads' impact on children probed


2011 Keith Lindsay-Cameron.