The term "boob tube" is official medical terminology since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) came out in August 1999 with a recommendation to eliminate all television viewing for children younger than two.
Not surprisingly, there has been a strong, ongoing reaction both for and against the AAP's recommendations.
Educators tend to side with the AAP, while the "mom on the street" tends to be against it. Here's a look at what both sides have to say.
Those in favor of the
The AAP policy, published in the August 1999 issue of Pediatrics, the scientific journal of the AAP, stated, in part:
"The first two years of life are especially important in the growth and development of your child's brain. During this time, children need good, positive interaction with other children and adults. Too much television can negatively affect early brain development. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important.
Until more research is done about the effects of TV on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television for children age two or younger. For older children, the Academy recommends no more than one to two hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs."
For many, the AAP's policy acted as a rallying cry. Educators, pediatricians and yes, even parents, took up the call to curtail television or eliminate it altogether. Non-profit organizations such as LimiTV warned of television's damaging effects on a child's development and urged parents to keep their children "TV free" until age five.
Slowly, more moderate views began to be heard.