Parents concerned about the effects of television on their children can take the following steps, according to Dr. Victor Strasburger:
*"Take back control of that little box." Regulate the number of hours your child watches TV (a maximum of one to two hours a day is his suggestion) and the kinds of programs, depending on each child's age.
*Watch with your child, and talk about programs. "Discuss, particularly, violent programs or sexy programs," he said. "It's a great icebreaker. Programs we would ordinarily consider objectionable, if a parent is watching, lose their objectionability."
*Suggest alternatives. "Given the choice," said Strasburger, "most children would rather be playing."
*Be a role model: read, play games, look for other recreations besides television yourself. "If Dad is a blob sitting in front of TV every night," he said, "the kids will grow up the same way."
*If you subscribe to cable, ask your company for a lock-out box so you can limit your child's access to channels you object to. Peggy Charren of Action for Children's Television said companies are required by law to provide boxes for a reasonable, one-time charge.
*For more information, write to Action for Children's Television, 46 Austin St., Newtonville, Mass. 02160.