Effect of Media on Child Health
Dr. Imranur Rahman
1. Limit TV watching: Research demonstrates that this habits of toddlers and preschoolers will likely become their permanent as they grow old. It is imperative to start teaching healthy TV habits early.
2. Provide mental changes on a on-going basis: These can seem simple to adults but such parental actions as giving children choices, asking them questions, providing materials for play rather than a lot of expensive toys, requires attentive concentration on their part. A puzzle instead of a video game; a trip to an art museum instead of a movie sometimes; an aquarium for the child’s bedroom instead of a TV—these are gifts which will nurture the development of an appropriate attention span.
3. Do not keep the children engage in every minutes of their lives
4. The temptation to fill leisure moments with TV should be avoided
Media has become a part of our life. We watch television, read newspapers and magazines, surf internet and play computer games. We are so deeply involved in the phenomena that we don’t realize how they affect us. Naturally, we are overlooking the ill effects that especially victimizing our new generation.
The effects of media are two types, physical and mental. Physical effects include visual problems, obesity, hypertension, diabetes etc. Children now pass more time in watching TV or playing computer games instead of playing in the fields. Lack of physical exercise leads to obesity. Child gain more weight over their age. Obesity increases the chance of hypertension and diabetes near future. Besides long time starring at TV or computer monitor causes visual disturbance.
Mental or psychological effects of media are more dangerous. This effect is indirect so we are not aware of this problem. Children watch violent TV show or movie or play computer games that are full of violence. It changes their behavior. They become more aggressive as they think it is normal. Their psychological pattern changes gradually. The American academy of pediatrics reports that media violence initiates problems with aggressive behavior, nightmares, desensitization to violence, anxiety and depression. Repeated exposure of aggressive scenes on media creates an attitude that aggression is an appropriate solution on the course of getting success. When children perceive frightening themes viewed on media as reality, they determine that their world is harrowing, sinister place. Children may exhibit sleep problems, miss school, withdraw from friends, and fear that they may become a victim of violence.