Thursday, August 17, 2006

Junk Food for Kids' Brains

My kindergarten aged daughter constantly asks, "Can I watch some TV?" Most of the time I say, "No. It's junk food for your brain. You can only have a little of it." I get a groan, and then she skips off to the sun room to play. She absolutely loves it when I acquiesce for one reason or the other. If it is on the right channel, she zones out--blank mind.

I have now found a good reason to let her zone out in front of mindless cartoons--vaccinations. Read this:
Researchers confirmed the distracting power of television - something parents have long known - when they found that children watching cartoons suffered less pain from a hypodermic needle than kids not watching TV.

The kids in the study were older than Inwe, but still convincing numbers.

The study involved 69 children, ages 7 to 12, who were separated into three groups and then asked to rate their pain on a numerical scale when they were stuck with needle used to take a blood sample. The children's mothers also rated the kids' pain.

Those watching TV cartoons reported half the pain as those who were being soothed by Mom. When compared with children who just sat in a hospital room with mothers who didn't try to soothe them, the TV watchers reported one-third the pain.

The author of the news article and one of the researchers was disturbed that the power of the television was stronger than the ability of the mother to soothe. I think this only means that parents need to figure out how to distract their little patients. And, if the mother or father is a nervous type only ramping up the child's anticipation, have that nurse turn on the television.

Earthlink News: Health was my source.


jarhead john said...

I would never have thought to use the "electronic babysitter" for that purpose. Interesting stuff.

Trixie said...

OH MY! Can you imagine this trial? Let's get a bunch of sweet kids and put them in a doctor's office in front of the TV and then stick the hell out of them. Then we can ask them how bad it was...

This is some sick little experiment. (Even if it works)