American teachers now have a powerful weapon to use in their attempts to persuade parents to limit the TV time for their offspring. The American Academy of Pediatrics has just made public its finding that children from three to 12 years of age who spend too much time looking at TV develop an illness known as "tired child syndrome".
The symptoms are chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, headache and vomiting. Children spending from 6-10 hours on Saturdays and Sundays and from 3-6 hours on weekdays in front of television, a series of experiments showed, develop the symptoms of the disease.
When the experiments were being conducted on the children by the doctors, the latter had no knowledge that the children involved were looking at TV excessively. This was revealed to them after their diagnosis and findings that the children were actually afflicted with the disease.
The medical profession also discovered that in some sensitive, introspective children television became a form of addiction. They fell into a cycle in which long hours of viewing produced such fatigue that the children had only got enough energy for television-watching.
It was also discovered in the medical survey that parental habits were just as much a problem as those of the children. The desire of the parents to view TV in many instances gave the children the opportunity to watch it for excessive lengths of time.
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