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Babies and Toddlers Should Learn From Play, Not Screens



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The temptation to rely on media screens to entertain babies and Toddlers is more appealing than ever, with screens surrounding families at home, in the car, and even at the grocery store.  And there is no shortage of media products and programming targeted to little ones.  But a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there are better ways to help children learn at this critical age.

In a recent survey, 90 percent of parents said their children under age two watch some form of electronic media.  On average, children this age watch televised programs one to two hours per day.  By age three, almost one third of children have a television in their bedroom.  Parents who believe that educational television is “very important for Healthy development” are twice as likely to keep the television on all or most of the time.

Dr. Ari Brown, MD, lead author of the policy says, “In today’s ‘achievement culture,’ the best thing you can do for your young child is to give her a chance to have unstructured play – both with you and independently.  Children need this in order to figure out how the world works.”

The policy statement, “Media Use by Children Younger ThanTwo Years,” was recently released at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Boston.  The report recommends that parents and caregivers:

Set media limits for their children before age two;

Instead of screens, opt for supervised independent play for infants and young children during times that a parent cannot sit down and actively engage in play with the child;

Avoid placing a television set in the child’s bedroom; and,

Recognize that their own media use can have a negative effect on their children.

For more information, please visit www.aap.org.

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Tags: Featured Story, Health, Toddler

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