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TV harms young children

08 June 2009 / 16:06:37  GRReporter
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A research done by the Greek pediatrician Dimitris Christakis claims that the turned on TV slows down the language development of children by reducing the number of words they can hear and pronounce.


The sure thing is that TV reduces the ability of young children to start talking and this is a threat for their brain development. The research was done by Dimitris Christakis of the Washington University and published in the medical magazine “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.”


Participants in the research were children between 2 months and four years old and it was established that when the TV is on for an hour in a house with small children, they hear between 500 and 1000 words less, spoken by the parents. “On average adults use 941 words in about an hour. Our research established that parents almost stop talking when the TV set is on, which most probably explains the slowed down language development in children,” said Christakis.


The Greek pediatrician said that the turned on TV can be blamed for the children’s attention disorder and for their difficulties while studying, because language is the key for their entire development of the brain. The research done by Christakis’ team has established that children not only do not talk when they are watching TV but also when the TV is on as a background in the room.


During the research, all children were wearing special electric devices, which were recording everything they have said or heard for the length of 12-16 hours. The analyses of the digital recording has shown that for every hour that the TV was on, the words that parents have said and that children have heard was reduced with 770 words. Also, the spoken words by the child were reduced as well.


Christakis warns parents to be very careful, because many children live in families (mainly in the US) where the TV is on throughout the day, even if no one watches it.


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