Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Here is just a bit more about television, video games and the tragic effects on our children.

Childhood exposure to TV and video games should be viewed as a major public health issue and, like cigarettes, these media should come with a health warning. So argue researchers writing in a special issue of the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Research shows that exposure can increase obesity, tobacco and alcohol use, risky sexual behaviours, violence and social isolation, say Dimitri Christakis and Frederick Zimmerman, from the University of Washington in Seattle, in a controversial editorial. The data linking violent media to aggression, for instance, are “just as strong” as those linking smoking and lung cancer, says Christakis.

US children over eight years old spend more time watching TV and playing videos than any other activity except sleeping. More than a third of those under six have TVs in their bedrooms. And things are only set to get worse, as every child with a cellphone will soon to be toting a TV in his pocket, says Christakis.

In the meantime, at Clear Spring School today, the 5th and 6th graders made their choice of two projects designed by classmates, Brendan and Coulter. Brendan designed a replica Monitor warship, and Coulter designed an airplane. The students worked from the plans, but with some additions and modifications of their own.

In the photo above, Coulter is using a sanding strip to give shape to the fuselage of his plane.

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