Sitting near TV signals trouble?

FROM TOTS TO TEENS

August 31, 1993|By Dr. Modena Wilson and Dr. Alain Joffe | Dr. Modena Wilson and Dr. Alain Joffe,Contributing Writers

Our 10-year-old son likes to get close to the TV when he watches it. Will it ruin his eyesight if he watches a lot of TV that close to the set?

We don't recommend that children watch a lot of TV from any distance.

Television substitutes too easily for other activities. However, we do not believe that watching TV, even from close range, will ruin children's eyes.

On the other hand, we wonder if your child already has an eye problem. Perhaps he doesn't see well from a distance and that's why he prefers to be so close to the TV. We suggest you get his eyes tested. If he can't see the TV from across the room, he may not be able to see the board at school, either. And he's unlikely to be able to compensate by getting up close.

ADr. Wilson is director of general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center; Dr. Joffe is director of adolescent medicine.

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