The Truth Behind “Frame Rate” In Kid’s TV Shows

Why are parents obsessing over it on social media?

Katie Sue Webber
Katie Sue Webber
Mom to two sweet little boys. Helping moms is her passion.
Last updated
May 9, 2023

There's been a recent uptick in the discussion of fast-paced children's TV shows potentially causing tantrums and overstimulation in kids. These types of TV shows are coined “high frame rate", although a more accurate description would be high cut rate, as all children's shows and movies use the same frame rate standard of 24 frames per second. A high number of cuts from scene to scene increases viewer stimulation.

Although parents claim that certain shows seem to lead to more tantrums than usual, experts say there is not enough research to say that faster-paced kids' shows can have such an effect. While excessive screen exposure has been linked to cognitive and social-emotional deficits, no studies have shown adverse effects related to visual or stylistic characteristics of children's shows.

Child psychologists also hesitate to blame tantrums on anything in particular, as they are developmentally part of growing up, and context is important when considering their causes. Some children may be more easily overstimulated than others, which could lead to difficulties. Experts say that one show is not necessarily better than another, but it is helpful to consider the content more than the “frame rate”.

When selecting shows for toddlers, experts recommend shows that model positive social and emotional behavior, teach basic concepts like shapes, numbers, and colors, and problem-solving or music skills to stimulate cognitive development. Ultimately, parents should pay attention to their children's reactions to what they are watching and adjust as needed.

Read more (via Romper)

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