The AAP Says Zero Screen Time Is Best For Babies And Young Toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a new policy statement encouraging parents to provide a "screen-free" environment for children...
The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a new policy statement encouraging parents to provide a "screen-free" environment for children under the age of two years. Baby development, baby fun, baby sensory, outside play, park with baby, media and baby, tv and baby, baby tv According to the AAP, recent survey results show that as many as 90% of parents let their young children watch some form of electronic media. The survey shows that on average, children under the age of two are watching one to two hours of television per day. By age 3, a surprisingly large amount of kids (1/3) actually have a television in their bedroom. Why are so many young children camped out in front of the TV? The AAP notes that many parents believe that educational television is “very important for healthy development.” In their new policy statement, the AAP points out that this is not actually the case and that young children gain more developmental advantages from playtime with a parent then they do from screen time. Some key findings from the AAP include:
  • Often video programs for infants and toddlers are marketed as “educational,” but there's no conclusive evidence to support this.
  • Unstructured play time is healthier for your baby's developing brain than electronic media.
  • Television viewing around bedtime, especially for young children, can cause irregular sleep schedules, which in turn can adversely affect mood, behavior and learning.
  • Little ones who are heavy media users are at a higher risk for language development delays.
Best practices for baby screen-time:
  • If your child is two years old or younger, set media limits. In fact the AAP discourages media use at all for this age group.
  • Instead of media screens, allow your child the chance to experience supervised independent play. For example, have your child play with nesting cups or blocks as you fold laundry.
  • Television sets don't belong in a child's bedroom - it's better to watch TV, when you do watch, as a family, in a family space.
What do you think of the new AAP recommendations? Do you think kids should spend less time plugged in, or is the AAP overreacting? + Babies and toddlers should learn from play, not screens (pdf) Image ©Flickr user N8tr0n

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