TV as a babysitter

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    I have recently noticed something quite interesting during my pediatric ICU rotation…we sure use the TV a lot. I’ll see the nurses and techs come into some of the patients’ room and turn on the TV to try and soothe infants, tots to teens. I have been told that too much TV is bad for children, so much so that it is a standard question the Bright Futures questionnaire we use to ask parents during well child checks. I thought about this and have tried to implement this in the rearing of my own children.

    So after seeing this I am reminded how easy it is to point the finger and make an exception because you feel you have a legitimate reason. Yes, we don’t have enough child life, techs, nurses or volunteers to stimulate and entertain hospitalized children, but I ask you does this excuse our behavior. There are lots of reason parents allow children to watch a lot of TV. It ranges from sheer laziness to a way a parent tries to make up for the fact that you can’t allow your child outside because it is too dangerous.

    I am now proposing this question. Should we use televisions as a babysitter in the hospital?


    I am about as anti TV as you can get. We have no TV reception, and my three (almost 4) year old has probably seen total of about an hour of screen time in his life. That being said, if TV will ease the kids’ experiences while their stay at the hospital, maybe that is OK? I don’t know how I would feel about kids under the age 2 though. I would make sure the programming is minimally harmful like Sesame Street and not baby Einstein.


    tv is not bad for children, it maybe only influence their eye sight a bit depending on how long the child will stare at the screen for ( like how many hours in the day) and especially the main one here is how close. If a child stands too close to the tv set the lasers will damage eye sight . Here on this site it says that kids under2 should NOT be exposed to the tv! :blink:

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