Back away from the TV please!!!!

@makingpots (11922)
United States
March 20, 2008 7:25pm CST
I am sure that I say that sentence at least 10 times a day to my 3 year old. What is it that makes kids want to sit so close to a television set? Do you have the same problem with your kids? I think my son does it without meaning to. He plays and moves around, rarely sitting to watch the set unless he is on the sofa with me, but then I will look up and he is standing six inches away from it. I say "back away" and he does it without complaining or anything, almost like he didn't mean to be doing it in the first place. I know it has to be hurting his eyesight, right? Or is that one of those old wives tales?
7 people like this
19 responses
@AmbiePam (49493)
• United States
21 Mar 08
My parents used to say the same thing to me, over and over. My sister and I were always very close to the screen. But after a while I thought I'd ask a good source. So I asked my eye doctor and he said no, being close to the TV does not hurt your eyes. It may give you a headache, but it does no damage to your eyes. Just to make sure I asked the next eye doctor I saw years later. And she said the same thing. So then I knew my parent's arguments didn't hold water. But by that time, I didn't WANT to sit close to the tv!
3 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
What a relief to know this, AmbiePam. Thanks so much.
4 people like this
@jpso138 (7842)
• Philippines
21 Mar 08
Thank you for this information. I seem to have a similar problem with my child. He is always watching tv and the thing is, he is very close to the set. Well, its a relief knowing that this will not cause any eye problem.
3 people like this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
21 Mar 08
Kids and TV - They love to get close to it but we as adults have to teach them to stay away.
I don't think it's an old wives tale because the TV does put out a strong ray of light which does damage the eyes if we're too close to it for too long. You're doing a great job in teaching your little boy to stay back from it. Good job mommy! lol
3 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
thank you very much
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
21 Mar 08
I don't think standing in front of the TV can hurt his eyesight unless he is there for hours doing it. You may want to get his sight checked just in case he does have a vision problem. I know they do the eye tests at school every year but who knows how accurate those really are.
3 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
He is not there for very long at any one time. Probably wouldn't hurt to have his eyes checked though.
1 person likes this
@maddysmommy (16236)
• United States
21 Mar 08
I have to tell my 5 year old from time to time to move away also. I think when his favorite cartoon is on or there is music, he likes to be up close for some reason. I was always told by my mom to move away too and that it wasn't good for the eyes to be sitting or standing so close.
3 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
My mom used to say it all the time too. And I was never anywhere near as close to it as my son gets.
3 people like this
@patgalca (14480)
• Orangeville, Ontario
21 Mar 08
I noticed the little girl I babysit sitting really close to the tv the other day. I told her to sit back. I realized that the sunshine coming through the door was shining on the screen making the screen not so clear. I closed the blinds for her and she said 'thank you'. I also find my husband and kids like to watch the television in the dark. So I think perhaps there are things reflecting on the tv screen making the picture harder to see so people move closer (or turn off the lights). I find that with my computer screen sometimes.
3 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
That is a very good point. I know reflections bother some people a lot more than others.
3 people like this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
21 Mar 08
I haven't had to say it too many times....and I didn't even realize it till I read this discussion. Funny, because there are things my son does....even after I've been reminding him for the past 2 years...but this isn't one of them. My son sits on the sofa to watch T.V and it is quite a distance away. He's 7 now....but when he was 3, the only times he was allowed to watch T.V. was 2 half-hour shows. And since I wasn't an avid T.V. watcher....the television was never on unless he was watching these shows....or when my husband watched the news. My 16 month old....likes to watch T.V. but he makes himself comfortable on the sofa...but I have caught him a couple of times...sitting right in front of the television. If I pick him up and put him on the sofa, he is fine. In two months he will be joining a toddler group and this T.V. watching would come down to the same as his brother. I'm not sure if it's one of those old wive's tales....but I feel that there would be a strain on the eyes watching T.V. up close.
2 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
4 Apr 08
That sound great, I hope you little one enjoys the toddler group.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
5 Apr 08
He seems to be enjoying it without any kids there...lol (I'm having my training and he tags along with me...and school has closed for summer vacations). I hope he enjoys it as much when school opens in June. I do think the T.V time for him needs to be cut down drastically...though most of the time it's only songs he is watching...I'm not very happy with the amount of time spent in front of it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Mar 08
My toddler does that, too! Oh, we've tried putting a coffee table in front of the TV so that she wouldn't be able to go too close to the TV, but she would climb the table halfway so she could be close to the TV again. What is it with kids and having to watch TV that close? Sometimes when the TV is off, I'd see smooch marks on the screen! :D I don't think it's an old wives tale that watching too close can ruin the eyesight. It's bound to hurt the eyes one way or another like eyestrain and fatigue. Just for your information, the recommended viewing distance is 5 times of the width of your television screen... and that is really far.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
21 Mar 08
that IS a pretty far distance. Thanks for the information.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 08
It stems from the desire to be a part of whatever has enthralled them. And no it will not hurt their eyes. On the contrary, it will exercise their eyes and brain. I would be more worried about the effects on the ears.
1 person likes this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
that is a good point, at his age he still does want to be a part of things that interests him. Thanks totalcomments.
@gemini_rose (16193)
21 Mar 08
I do not know what it is that seems to attract them to stand so close to it! I have 3 younger children and they are all like moths to a flame where the tv is concerned, I was always told as a child that I would go blind through standing or sitting too close. I do not tell my children none of these things, I just tell them to back off or it goes off. Its the same as when I have cleaned it they just have to go touch it! I think if they sit in front of it constantly then it would put strain on their eyes over time, I know if I get too close to it I have to squint to see it properly, mind you that could just be age!!!
1 person likes this
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
21 Mar 08
my parents used to say the same thing over and over again to me and my brothers when we are still kids... they always remind us that it will hurts our eyesights if we watch TV too close... it ended up that the three of us are wearing glasses now... i don't know the real reason why children like to watch TV very close... it might be that they are excited and love the movie so much... so they want to see it from close... at least, that's the reason for me watching TV so close when i am still a kid...
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
22 Mar 08
If you let him sit so close watching it for a long time it would probably adversely affect his eyesight but if it is only for short periods of time there shouldn't be a problem! I know my kids have both been through that stage at some point sweetheart and I am not sure why they do it but it is perfectly normal! Honest! xxxx
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
thanks, mummymo. It is great to know it is normal.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
21 Mar 08
My Mom and Dad used to tell me that all the time. I don't know why I sat so close...maybe to see everything more clearly or maybe to be sure I didn't miss anything. My eyesight is terrible but I don't know if that has anything to do with the tv or not. !!HAPPY EASTER!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
thanks, twoey. I hope you had a Happy Easter.
• United States
21 Mar 08
I don't have any kids, but my brother and I always used to sit close. I can't really think of why we did...but we just...did. It wasn't as if we couldn't see from the couch, we just got close. Maybe the TV has more control over kids than I thought! Haha! But anyway, this brought to mind some of the anime I watch from Japan. I've noticed that their cartoons usually have a little written warning that tells kids to sit back from the television and watch in a well lit room. I don't know if it hurts your eyesight, because I've heard that reading in the dark tale a million times,just to find out that it doesn't at all. So, no clue.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
thanks, Antithesis
• United States
21 Mar 08
I think it might be an old wives tale, but I'd have to research it. I have noticed that it seems to be a kid thing. Well not really because my husband always stands right in front of the tv himself. Maybe they are just copying what they see.
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
thank you for the response, deannatroupe
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
21 Mar 08
my son does this too...who knows why they do it! He also blasts the volume to the point it hurts my ears...while being too close to the tv won't hurt you in moderation, too much noise definately can!
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
30 Mar 08
yes, it definitely can. Thankfully I am not dealing with that issue.
@Roxenne (73)
30 Mar 08
I really do not know why children sit so close to a television, but both my two children do that. I think that sometimes they do that becouse they do not want to hear other sounds coming from other parts of the house,and in this way they can concentrate only to the TV.
@wisconsin26 (3859)
• United States
26 Mar 08
My son does the same thing and has sense he's been able to sit by himself now him being almost 9 he still sits close to the tv... However both my husband and I wear glasses, But he's been checked to see if he needed them and he don't... I think what it is, is that they are afraid that they might miss something in the show.. You know I do the same thing I won't deny it... When there is a show on tv and I am really into it I will sit closer than normal to see it.. I don't want to miss any parts of it.. Silly huh!
@mememama (3077)
• United States
26 Mar 08
My son does the same thing, and I feel like I sound like my mother when I say "you'll ruin your eyes". What amazes me is how long he can stand in front of the television, he gets so into the show he doesn't bother to sit down.
• United States
22 Mar 08
I say this to my kids on a regular basis. With my older son, I think it has to do with his "issues" and the fact that he just can't sit still for long. I also think I need to get him to have his eyes checked. I was around his age when I got my first pair of glasses. I'm not sure what is up with my daughter. Maybe she wants to be like her brother. Maybe she just doesn't think about it.