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Too much TV can turn kids bad

Toddlers should only watch a maximum of two hours TV a day - and none if they're under that age

Psychologists are calling for a limit on TV viewing for toddlers amid claims over bad behaviour among the under 5s. Researchers at John Hopkins University in the USA said that children aged between the age of two and five should have their TV viewing limited to just two hours per day. And the under-twos should not watch TV at all.

The researchers studied data on 2,707 children who were assessed as part of the nationwide Healthy Steps for Young Children Program in the USA.

They discovered that 16 per cent of children aged 2.5 years watched more than two hours TV a day, and 15 per cent of 5.5 year olds did the same. Behavioural problems were only noted in children whose TV watching habits hadn't changed between the 2.5 and 5.5 year measuring periods- so-called 'sustained viewing'.

No bedtime TV for you

They concluded instead that kids who watched less TV as they got older were less likely to behave badly than those who had no change in their viewing habits, according to Pysorg.

However, having a TV in a child's room - which 41 per cent in the study did - had a negative impact on their behaviour, accompanied by poor social skills and sleep patterns, researchers said.