Should you put a T.V in your child’s bedroom?

Too much time in front of the bedroom TV may prevent your child from experiencing more beneficial activities for their development, and may explain, in part, less optimal body weight, poor eating habits and socio-emotional difficulties as a teenager.

Did you have a TV in your bedroom when you were a child? How old were you when you got your first TV? Maybe you’ve never had one in your bedroom?

If you are thinking putting a TV in your child’s bedroom, you may want to reconsider, according to a new study published in December 2018.

Canadian researchers in Quebec looked at more than 1,800 children who were born  between 1995 and 1997 and found that preschoolers who had a TV in their bedroom were at increased risk for poor eating habits, overweight/obesity, and social/emotional struggles in their teens.

More specifically, the study showed that children who had a TV in their bedroom at age 4 were more likely to have:

  1. Significantly higher body mass index
  2. Unhealthy eating habits
  3. Lower levels of sociability
  4. And higher levels of emotional distress, depressive symptoms, victimization and physical aggression, at age 13.

The researchers argue that their findings shed light on the risks associated with too much of any screen time- not just T.V.

“It’s clear that the many hours [kids] spend in front of the screen is having an effect on their growth and development, especially if the TV is in a private place like the bedroom”


Study author Lisa Pagani

The study found that the location of the T.V makes an impact.

“Having private access to screen time in the bedroom during the preschool years does not bode well for long-term health. The children in our study were born at a time when television was the only screen in the bedroom”

Author quotes and material sourced from: University of Montreal.
All content has been edited for readability and length.

Journal Reference: Linda S. Pagani, Marie Josée Harbec, Tracie A. Barnett. Prospective associations between television in the preschool bedroom and later bio-psycho-social risksPediatric Research, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41390-018-0265-8

Check out this great resource from healthychildren.org which lets you make a family media plan and calculate your media time.

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