Television and media

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A guide for the better use of TV for children

  • by the age of 18 years, the average child has spent more time watching television than attending school (see Acknowledgements)
  • television has a major influence upon the health and development of children in Australia and New Zealand
  • different children are affected by television in different ways

"Getting in the picture" brochureWith the above in mind, the RACP (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) have published a booklet 'Getting in the picture: a parent's and carer's guide for the better use of television for children' which provides parents and carers with information about how to make television viewing a more useful and positive activity for children, with information under the following headings:

  • when and how we watch TV
    – viewing habits of children and families
    – what influences the viewing habits of children and families?
    – obesity and fitness
    – how we can improve a child's television experience
    – family problems
    – what you can do
  • what we watch
    – what children understand at different ages
    – television and play
    – television and learning
    – children and advertising
    – social stereotypes
    – suicide
    – children with developmental problems
    – what you can do

Where to go for more information

RACP (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
www.racp.edu.au
The following documents are available at the RACP website:

Australian Council on Children and the Media (incorporating Young Media Australia) www.childrenandmedia.org.au
YMA is an Australian national community organisation whose members share a commitment to the promotion of the healthy development of Australian children. Their particular interest and expertise is in the role that media experiences play in that development. Although YMA writes from an Australian perspective, their website contains fact sheets which provide a wealth of information relevant to the New Zealand context, such as:

  • Media effects fom a child development perspective; should children have a TV in their bedroom; nightmares; watching the TV news; what scares children; tragic world events in the media and helping children cope; how much time should children spend with the media)
  • Effects of violence in the media (including an overview; short and long-term effects; dealing with harms that have already occurred)
  • Effects of advertising directed at children (including an overview; food advertising; toy advertising; effects of advertising on children's body image; the sexualisation of children in the media; strategies for parents)
  • Strategies for parents and other caregivers including top ten tips for parents; early choices for healthy development; developing a strong and confident sense of self; developing healthy relationships; developing good social and emotional skills; developing good language skills; developing good thinking skills; dealing with harms that have already occurred)

Acknowledgements

Statistics in this fact sheet are from the RACP (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) booklet Getting in the picture: a parent's and carer's guide for the better use of television for children.
 
This page last reviewed 15 May 2013
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2014
Printed on 16 April 2014. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version
Content endorsed by the Paediatric Society of New Zealand