Limit screen time for the youngest children
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of two should not spend much time in front of electronic screens.
by Rune H. Rasmussen
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a recommendation, stating that parents should not allow very young children to spend much time in front of televisions, computer screens or playing video games. The AAP said that there are no educational benefits of children under two playing video games, and even leaving the TV on in the background is a bad thing, as both children and adults get distracted.
The AAP released a similar, although more stringent, recommendation in 1999. Back then, the AAP called on parents to all but ban television for young children. The new policy is less restrictive as children cannot be completely shielded from electronic gadgets in households of today, which might have several TVs, computers, laptops, video game consoles, smartphones and tablet computers.
Children have more benefit from real life interactions
Experts cannot point to any evidence of a link between exposure to different media gadgets and long-term developmental problems; still, recent research shows that children learn a lot more efficiently from real interactions with people and tangible objects.
In a statement, the AAP said:
“This updated policy statement provides further evidence that media — both foreground and background — have potentially negative effects and no known positive effects for children younger than 2 years. Although infant/toddler programming might be entertaining, it should not be marketed as or presumed by parents to be educational….Thus the AAP reaffirms its recommendation to discourage media use in this age group.”
Dr Georgene Troseth, a psychologist at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, said that, for school-age children, “we know that some learning can take place from media, but it’s a lot lower, and it takes a lot longer.” Children under the age of two, on the other hand, “just have no idea what’s going on”, no matter how well made a video is, Dr. Troseth said.
The new report from the AAP estimates that for every hour a young child spends in front of en electronic gadget of some sort, he or she spends about 50 minutes less interacting with a parent, and about 10 per cent less time in creative play. Add to that, the AAP claims that “unstructured playtime is more valuable for the developing brain than any electronic media exposure.”
So, the bottom line; protect children from electronic media at a very early age – let them play with their toys instead.
New York Times
Parents Urged Again to Limit TV for Youngest
Kids under 2 should not watch TV, say doctors