by KYW’s medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough

Almost 20 percent of two year olds watch more than the recommended two hours of television a day.

A public health study from Oregon suggests that is way too much. We know that too much time in front of the TV can affect a young child’s mental development and raise the odds for obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines which say children’s TV time should be limited to no more than one or two hours a day of “quality programming,” and TV sets should be kept out of their bedrooms.

In the Oregon study the researchers found that children who had a TV placed in their room were more likely to watch a lot of TV (about 34 percent) than children without a TV in the room (16.3 percent). Studies have also shown that limiting the amount of TV children watch when very young may help reduce the amount of time they spend on media as they get older, patterns are set early in life.

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