kids and media

The Damage of Media Use on Infants and Toddlers: Turn It Off!

October 19, 2011

TV rots your brains, right? That’s what our moms told us as kids. But our generation had hardly anything close to the media use and screen time that kids are exposed to today. Media for children is a multi-billion dollar industry. Every cartoon character has lunch boxes, cereal, fruit snacks, back packs, placemats, cups, and more, all designed to get to consume more! More media usage, more material stuff, and more sugary unhealthy food. Two questions: why not have your infant/toddler use multimedia devices and how do you survive as a parent without them? 1) No media exposure for infants and toddlers: why not? The American Association of Pediatrics came out with a strong stance against television and screen time for children under the age of 2 in 1999 with studies backing up their recommendation. The recommendation: no TV under age 2, and very little TV from 2-4. The AAP came out this week with a renewed Media Use Statement (“Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years.” By the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media Executive Committee. Pediatrics, Vol 128 No. 5, November 2011), and reiterated its prior findings and recommendations of no media use for small children based on its actual detrimental effects. So not only is there no evidence of positive effects of media exposure, but TV watching under age 2 is actually HARMFUL to brain development. Watch the presentation here. Really, if you have a TV, computer, smartphone, or any of those screen…

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