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Mom Confessions: My Kid Watches TV Close Up

by Cynthia Dermody on May 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM

safe TV viewing distanceIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

My son sits or stands in front of the TV to watch his Baby Einstein videos and favorite television shows. It doesn't really bother me. -- anonymous


Question: What are your TV viewing distance rules?
  1. On the couch or chair only. 13%
  2. Several feet away, out of tip-over risk, on the floor or couch. 39%
  3. Anywhere they want -- I'm not worried about vision problems or the TV tipping over. 40%
  4. Other 5%
Total Votes: 123
Voting on polls is not available on The Stir Mobile.


Do you worry about furniture tip-overs, or is your TV bolted securely to the cabinet or wall? Are you concered about possible vision problems from up close viewing? Are there other reasons a toddler shouldn't watch TV close up?


Past Confessions:

I Let My Toddler Play Outside Alone

I Turn My Kids Over to A Mom I Just Met

My Toddler Wears Crude T-Shirts

I Let My Toddlers Climb Play Equipment Unassisted

My Kids Go to Sleep After Midnight

I Let My Toddlers Go Naked in Public

I Throw Away My Kid's Artwork

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It

I Find Excuses to Send My Kids to Bed Early

Filed Under: health, safety


  • Emmy_...


    May 8, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    We have a massive flat screen tv that she can't pull over (hell, I can't pull it over either!) so I don't worry about that. I did ask the doctor about her standing in front of it so close and he told me that it's not going to affect her vision as long as she isn't standing there all day every day. She stands close maybe 15 minutes through the whole day. Most of the time she is playing and ignoring the tv all together.

  • madam...


    May 8, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    We have our TV mounted so it's nice and secure and too high that even if she stands right in front of the entertainment center she's not eye to eye with the TV.

    We don't watch a lot of TV but when we do she *has* to sit several feet back in order to see it. So any potential problems with tipping over or adverse effects on vision are ruled out already.

    It's nice to not have to constantly pull her back from it.

  • WillDoDa


    May 8, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    My kids often sit or stand right in front of the tv. I read once that being close to the TV doesn't CAUSE eye problems, but that often it is a sign of poor vision.

    Both my girls are doing good according to the eye dr, but since most of my Family and my DH's Family have glasses, I am quite certain they will eventually have glasses as well.

  • lilbi...


    May 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    no matter how close you sit to the tv it won't hurt your eyes! and what kind of tv do you have why would it fall over!

  • auror...


    May 8, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    All that about it hurting their eyes is a myth.  My son stands right in front of the TV and won't budge when he does watch, I gave up peeling him off of it.

  • zorrokat


    May 8, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    A couple of times my son has walked right up to the screen to watch his shows, probably because of the novelty of it. Now he's more used to it so he'll watch from the couch or halfway across the room. I really don't think he does it enough to affect his vision. Even so, his father & I both wear glasses/contacts so genetically he's not likely to have 20/20 vision forever.

  • RanaA...


    May 8, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    All that about it hurting their eyes is a myth.  My son stands right in front of the TV and won't budge when he does watch, I gave up peeling him off of it.


    Bingo.  Even if you watch with your face smashed against the screen, you are NOT causing damage to your vision.  Temporary headache?  Sure!  But no long-term damage.

  • jenma...


    May 8, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    Hate to break it to you..... but watching TV close up WILL NOT damage your eyes. AT ALL. I have worked in ophthalmology for years.... and what I say is fact!

  • toria...


    May 8, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    We have a flat screen that could feasibly fall over. I do make her stand back, even if the eye thing is a myth... I grew up with it and so it's force of habit. I suppose it begans good habits. I mean if two kids are watching and one stands directly in front of the TV, the other can't see. So this way she's already seasoned with the knowledge that we don't stand in front of the TV.

  • njpmom06


    May 8, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    It depends where he watches TV.  In his room he has a LCD mounted on the wall, so he has to be a few feet back.  In my room I also have a flat screen but it is in a TV cabinet, and he pulls my computer chair right up to the TV and props up his little feet.  I am fine with it.

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