New findings issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state that children under the age of 2 should have stricter media limits than previously defined. Through a recent survey, the AAP found that:
- 90 percent of parents allow their children under age 2 to watch electronic media, an average of up to two hours per day.
- Programs for infants and toddlers marketed as “educational” do not have supporting evidence.
- Television viewing around bedtime can cause poor sleep habits.
- Young children with heavy media use are at risk for language development delays upon entering school.
- Parental media use may negatively impact a young child’s learning from play.
The AAP advises that unstructured play time is more valuable for brain development in young children and that children learn best from interaction with humans, not screens. New recommendations regarding screen time for babies and toddlers include:
- Set limits on media exposure for all children.
- Opt for independent play over time in front of screens.
- Avoid electronic media in your child’s bedroom and recognize the effect that your media usage has on your children.
According to Dr. Ari Brown, a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media, “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.”
Learn more about this study at www.aap.org.