Byline: Todd Huffman For The Register-Guard
When parents think about environmental exposures during childhood, they might think of lead, pesticides or grass pollens. In fact, the greatest environmental exposure for most children is television: They spend more time watching it than they do in any other wakeful activity, and it has significant effects on their health and well-being.
Both parents and pediatricians have asked: "Is it good or bad?"
Television is inherently neither; it's time to move beyond such black-and-white thinking. Television is a tool - it all depends on what they watch and how they watch it.
Used carefully for children older than 2, television need not have untoward effects, and according to recent studies, can even exert a positive influence. By and large, however, it is not being used carefully. For the most part, parents are clueless about the content and consequences of the media-saturated world their children inhabit.
Content is …