Couch Potato Toddlers Have Higher Risk of Being Bullied
The more time toddlers spend in front of the TV, the higher their risk of being bullied later in their childhood. That's the conclusion of a new study at the University of Montreal and the affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children in the U.S. spend an average of seven hours a day using entertainment media.
To conduct their study, the team followed 991 girls and 1,006 boys as they grew up. The TV-watching habits of the children when they were 29 months old was reported by their parents, while the children themselves answered questions about their experiences related to bullying when they were in the sixth grade.
After taking into account other factors, the researchers found that the longer children watched TV as toddlers, the higher their risk of being bullied was later on. Additionally, every 53 minute increase in daily viewing at 29 months predicted an 11 percent increase in bullying by sixth-grade classmates.
The AAP recommends that children and teens watch no more than one to two hours of television a day. They note that if too much time is spent watching TV and not playing with other kids in the child’s early years, they don’t develop essential social skills.