Television, it seems, is everywhere in children's lives. Long gone is the era of one television set in the home, with the family gathered in the living room to watch The Ed Sullivan Show after dinner. These days, television sets are also in kitchens, bedrooms, and basement playrooms. They are in minivans and SUVs, kids' hair salons, and physicians' waiting rooms.
But for all of television's omnipresence, there seems to be little guidance for parents on how to handle their kids' television viewing. The Elephant in the Living Room, by Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, and Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD, directors of the Child Health Institute at the University of Washington, begins to fill that void.