AAP GUIDELINES FOR BABIES AND TV
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement in its November 2011 issue of “Pediatrics” regarding guidelines for babies and television. The first guidelines issued by AAP in 1999 recommended avoiding “screen time” for babies under the age of two years old. Current research findings confirm their previous recommendations. “Screen time” includes watching TV, the computer, a DVD, a cell phone, a tablet computer, or any similar device.
According to AAP research 90 percent of children under the age of two watch some media on a screen, averaging two hours a day. Some infants are subjected to even more screen time since TVs and DVD seem like convenient babysitters for some parents and due to the exploding market of videos claiming to increase baby’s intelligence. “Second-hand screen time,” the time when the TV is on in the background, was also discouraged. The AAP highly recommends keeping children under the age of two as “screen-free” as possible.
CHOOSE MOVEMENT PLAY FOR BABIES INSTEAD OF TV
Key research findings include poor sleeping habits when TV viewed just before sleep, language delays from exposure to TV instead of live humans talking, and brain development negatively effected from the constant noise and pace of the TV. In their report, doctors strongly encourage movement play and interaction with humans at home. Activities recommended include talking, singing, playing, and listening to music at home with baby while keeping the TV and computers OFF. Stellar Caterpillar lessons encourage these activities and teach parents simple techniques to encourage movement play for baby.
TV AND BABIES IN THE NEWS
Because of the significance of the research findings the AAP guidelines were reported in several major national news outlets. In addition to the AAP report, you can read more about the research findings and expert opinions on the AAP guidelines for babies and TV at the links below:
- “Educational TV for Babies?, It Doesn’t Exist!”, Bonnie Rochman, TIME, 10/18/11.
- “Parents Urged to Limit TV For The Youngest.” Benedict Carey, The New York Times, 10/18/11.
- “TV Guidelines for Babies Under 2: AAP Says Can Harm Development”, Jessica Samakow, The Huffington Post, 10/24/11.
- “No TV for Tots, Doctors Say.”, Rachel Emma Silverman, The Wall Street Journal’s online blog, 10/19/11.