So Why Two? Why Not One, Three, or Four?
When the AAP wrote this guideline, its members had a "huge argument" about whether to make the recommendation no TV for kids under three years old, according to Dr. Shifrin. Ultimately they decided to distinguish between verbal and preverbal children, assuming "that most youngsters are preverbal under two," he says. "This was 1999, when the [under-two television] industry was a molehill, not a mountain."
The AAP will likely issue a new recommendation in the next couple of years, probably without an age range and instead referring to "verbal and preverbal," says Dr. Shifrin. "It's sort of like saying age ranges for car seats. What if you have a heavy four-year-old?" That's why the AAP revised its car seat recommendations to include weight and inches, he adds.