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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: How do you handle your child’s exposure to the media?

Seems like they’ve been saying all this since even before I was born — TV’ll rot your brain; TV’ll ruin your eyes; etc. — but here it comes again:

Too Much Media May Be Tough on Kids’ Health
Expert warns parents to limit access to computers, TV and more

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) — Easy access to a wide variety of media increases a child’s risk for numerous health issues, such as obesity, eating disorders, drug use and early sexual activity, according to a U.S. expert.

On average, American children and teens spend more than six hours a day with media such as TV, computers, Internet, video games and VCR or DVD players — more time than they spend per day receiving formal classroom instruction, says Dr. Victor C. Strasburger of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque.

All this media access affects a variety of health issues, he wrote in the June 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a special theme issue on child and adolescent health.

“The media are not the leading cause of any pediatric health problem in the United States, but they do make a substantial contribution to many health problems,” Strasburger said. Among them: violence, sex, drugs, obesity and eating disorders.

If you have children — if you hypothetically did — do you limit how much TV the kids watch? Do you watch a movie before you let them see it to gauge its appropriateness? Do the kids have computers and Internet access in their rooms? Or do you think this is alarmist fearmongering that parents can safely not worry about?

How do you handle your child’s exposure to the media?

I don’t have kids, so I’m off the hook.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)

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