Although the American Academy of Pediatrics does not hold television solely responsible for violence in our society, we believe that televised violence has a clear effect on the behavior of children and contributes to the frequency with which violence is used to resolve conflict. Television also distorts reality on matters such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sexuality, and family relations.
The primary goal of commercial children’s television is to sell products— from toys to food—to children. Young children in particular cannot distinguish between programs and their commercials, nor do they fully understand that commercials are designed to sell them (and their parents) something.
Together, parents, broadcasters, and advertisers must be held responsible for the television that children see. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports legislative efforts to improve the quality of children’s programming. We urge parents to limit the amount of TV that their children view, to monitor what their children are watching, and to watch TV with them to help them learn from what they see.