Is it really harmful to a child's eyes of they sit close to the tv?

Harmful effect tv. Although there is no proof that sitting too close to tv screen or computer screen causes any harm. There is still a consensus of opinion that the inrease rate of myopia seen these days where the distant images are blurred is probabely caused by sitting too close to the tv screen. The children should be insructed to sit more then an arms length from the screen, tv viewing time should be limited.
Not to the eye. This is a classic "old wives tale". Kids have remarkable near vision focus and the old wife cannot see this close, so she assumes it must be bad. Too much tv is bad for the brain but there is no harm to the eyes. Your child should be reading, playing, having friends, helping you in the house, etc.