South Africa's kids watch too much TV

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My son is only a year old so he's not very interested in TV at the moment. He loves The Postman Pat theme song but then again he also loves The Doctor Who theme song, he's not very discriminate. After that he gets very disinterested and goes to find something else to break. 

We have a very relaxed view when it comes to TV, parents are often made to feel guilty when using the TV as a babysitter, well you know what, at least they're not scratching out the detergent cupboard. 

But how much TV is too much? According to The 2014 Parent24 Kids Nation Survey 62% of kids watch more than 3 hours of TV per week. With 11% watching 8-12 hours a week. That's a lot of time for a child to be a just sitting and doing nothing.

According to the Vitality Health “Healthy Active Kids Report Card” at least half of South African children are not active enough (less than an hour a day) and the number of overweight or obese infants and young children (under the age of 5 years) increased from 31 million globally in 1990 to 44 million in 2012. 10 million of these children are in Africa. Can this be due to inactivity from watching TV?

In 2008, the CSA (French Broadcasting Authority) banned the screening of programmes designed for children less than 3.

Liz Victor, of “Toptots” and author of Play Learn Know, says there is overwhelming research against TV. “Toddlers cannot distinguish between on screen and reality, and excessive viewing leads to unsocial behaviour. Studies show that 8 to 16-month-olds who watch more than an hour of TV a day when compared to others understand six to eight words less.”

How much TV do your children watch?

Click here to see the full results of the 2014 Parent24 Kids Nation Survey.
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