Assessment of preschool children's sleep habits in relation to the time spent watching television
To assess preschool children's sleep habits and television viewing habits, parents' perceptions about TV viewing and any correlation between the two.
The study was conducted between March and June 2018 in randomly selected kindergartens of a large city in Greece. A total of 100 pre-school children and their parents participated in the study. Two questionnaires, the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and the Children's Television-Viewing Habits Questionnaire (CTVQ), were validated in Greek and used for this study.
Children's age (P=0.001), parents' educational level (P<0.001) and number of siblings (P<0.001) were found to significantly affect the time children spent watching TV daily. Fathers' age (P=0.004), number of siblings (P=0.001) and time children spent watching TV daily (P=0.007) were negatively correlated with CSHQ score.
Pre-school aged children spend a large amount of time watching TV, which results in altered sleep patterns, despite parents encouraging them to participate in other activities. Healthcare professionals should provide parents, teachers and children with evidence-based information and advice in order to lower the incidence of sleep disorders resulting from excessive time spent watching TV.
Mass media plays a key role in the formation of individuals and social groups. Television (TV) can provide children with information that may conflict with the knowledge and guidance that a family or school gives them (Yalgin et al, 2002; Matziou et al, 2006).
TV is a source of learning and entertainment, but it can also shape behavioural models and alter a child's personality and character (Tandon et al, 2011; Rideout, 2013). TV is often used by children to remedy loneliness and fear (Christakis and Zimmerman, 2006; Taveras et al, 2006). There is evidence to suggest that there has been a tremendous increase in the time children and adolescents spend watching TV.
Children are considered passive users of TV, because of their inability to distinguish between programmes that are useful or harmful, real or fake (Christakis et al, 2004; Sigman, 2007). Studies have shown that the frequency and duration of TV viewing can cause physical, mental, and behavioural disorders in children and adolescents (Christakis et al, 2004; Sigman, 2007).
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