Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Too Much TV Puts Tots at Risk

Many Parents Not Heeding Warnings About Negative Effects of Too Much TV Viewing in Young Kids
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

July 15, 2010 -- Despite repeated warnings about the potentially negative effects on children who watch too much television, nearly 20% of 2-year-olds in Oregon watch TV or videos two or more hours daily, the CDC says.

CDC and Oregon Public Health Division officials analyzed 2006-2007 data from the Oregon Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Survey involving 1,868 respondents, finding that 19.6% of 2-year-olds spend two hours or more watching TV or videos.

Among other findings:

  • 18.2% of the children had a TV in their bedrooms.
  • Children with a TV in their bedrooms were more likely to watch the tube for two hours or more.
  • Children who went on fewer than four outings during the week prior to the time their mothers were questioned also were much more likely to spend two hours or more watching TV or videos.
  • 14.5% of kids who went on four or more outings were less likely to watch more than two hours of TV.
  • Children who spent any time in a child care center were significantly less likely to watch two hours or more of TV or videos (7.8%), compared with 23.2% of kids not in day care.
  • 35.9% of non-Hispanic black mothers allowed their kids to view TV or videos for two hours or more, compared to 18.6% of non-Hispanic white mothers.

Too Much TV Linked to Developmental Problems

John Y. Oh, MD, MPH, the CDC epidemic intelligence officer with the Oregon State Public Health Division, says in an email that mothers were asked how much time their 2-year-olds spent watching TV or videos “so most probably interpreted ‘video’ as meaning watching a DVD or VCR video, as opposed to playing video games.”

In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a guideline that children’s total exposure to TV and videos should be limited to no more than one to two hours of “quality programming” per day.

“These findings are comparable to a telephone survey of parents in Minnesota and Washington, which found that by age two years, 90% of children regularly watched television or videos, and the average viewing time amount those who watched was more than 1.5 hours per day,” the CDC says in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for July 16, 2010.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd