Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Babies Should Not Watch Screen Media, Say Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians "urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years.” There are more potential negative effects of watching media than positive ones for this age group, said the AAP in an online statement in its journal, Pediatrics. Infant videos that purport to improve babies’ language or other skills do nothing of the kind.

Unstructured playtime does more to develop a child’s brain than any electronic media exposure. So parents should either play with their children or stay nearby as the child plays alone. “Solo play allows a child to think creatively, problem solve, and accomplish tasks with minimal parent interaction,” said the AAP.

For more on childhood development and media, see Psychiatric News and the American Psychiatric Publishing book, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
(Image: Greenland/ 


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