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Study Finds Young Children Watch a Shocking Amount of TV

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- How many hours of television are your children watching?  Probably more than you think.  Pediatricians have long been concerned about television exposure in childhood, as it can affect cognitive development and social abilities in children.  

Researchers in a new study published by the Journal of Medicine say they were "just shocked" at how often children were exposed to television. They said that on average, children between the ages of 8 months to 8 years are exposed to nearly four hours of background television daily.  Children from African-American families and the poorest families in the study group were exposed to even more at an average of 5.5 and 6 hours daily, respectively.  

The TV is often on in the background while parents cook or clean, eat or sleep, and when it’s on, pediatricians say kids pay less attention to everything else. The authors recommend turning off the TV at meal and play times, as well as when no one is watching.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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