Ophthalmologist’s Notes - American Medical Centers Киев

Ophthalmologist’s Notes

Why are children attracted to Television Commercials?

Children from birth to 3 years of age have a very short attention span. A child does not get excited about something or someone for a long time, sometimes not even for 2-3 minutes. He will leave any toy in a minute if it does not hold his or her interest. No cartoon or movie is as short as a commercial. Moreover, the action in TV commercials is usually highly dynamic. Children perceive ads as information, which in addition is beautifully packaged, bright, and easy to understand and so a child remains focused, as if the commercial were a short story.

Television in general is indeed a harmful medium for children. Gastroenterologists and nutritionists warn parents to not use the TV or TV commercials as a distracting tool when trying to feed their infants or toddlers. Such eating habits are dangerous as they result in acquiring a «TV-food» reflex. So, what is a parent to do?

Children require a lot of time to understand the world, and TV ads give them the opportunity at this stage of life. Cutting TV or TV commercials out entirely is not necessarily a solution. But perhaps setting limits is. Parents need to fill the child’s information vacuum with active communication with the world around him. Interestingly, the child that is focused and can hold his or her attention does not appear to be too fond of commercials to begin with!

Strabismus (abnormal eye alignment) in children up to one year

Many moms may be concerned that their baby’s eyes do not properly align. First one eye is looking at the nose, and then the other one is turning towards the temple. There is no reason to be concerned – it is not permanent. It is what we call a functional squint; it can be explained by the fact that a baby is not good at controlling his eye movements at such an early age.

A child begins to fix his eyes on objects in time with attempts to focus on «things». It should be kept in mind that true Strabismus may also be found in children of this age, but only a doctor can define that. A baby begins to fix eyes firmly on an object starting from the 2nd or 3rd month. Eyes move perfectly in sync by the 6th to 7th month. But even then there are individual features determined by fetal development, birth and the psycho-motor development of each child.

There may be another reason for the apparent squint at this age. The skull bones are quite flexible in children under one year of age. Over time, they take their positions relative to each other, which also explains the rapid change of a child’s appearance. Sometimes shifting facial bones create a visual impression of Strabismus caused by the asymmetry of the eye fissure configuration and size. It is a normal phenomenon, which disappears when the child grows up.

Keep healthy! Grow up happy!

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