No TV for Toddlers? Why Restrictions Are Necessary
Find out why experts advise parents to restrict TV for toddlers
The Burgeoning Brain
Pediatricians and researchers readily acknowledge that we do not know everything about the brains of children younger than two. The AAP’s recommendation, then, is based more on the proven benefits of having young children interact with caregivers rather than on extensive research into the negative effects of television on young kids.
“The first two years of life are probably the period of the greatest brain growth,” says Dr. Regina Milteer, MD, a member of the AAP’s Committee on Communications and a pediatric hospitalist in Falls Church, Virginia. “There’s been no research that supports children learn better from inanimate versus human interaction.”
Before age two “is the time when it’s most important that they have people touching them, talking to them, playing with them, interacting with them, because their little brains are like sponges, and they’re taking all this in, and they’re learning to interact as they continue to grow,” Dr. Milteer says. “There’s no data at this point that indicates that they even understand what they’re seeing or hearing when they look at a television.”
Dr. Kevin Passer, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, agrees that creating bonds between parents and children is key at this age. “I don’t think that it can do any harm for parents to follow those guidelines, and I feel that watching TV could potentially be harmful,” says Dr. Passer, who is also creator of The 20-Minute Behavioral Miracle DVD. “If your kids aren’t watching TV, then you as a parent have to pay more attention to your kids and . . . interact with them in more of a social way.”
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN