How Much TV Is Too Much TV?

Health and Safety
How Much TV is Too Much TV?

The latest recommendations by the American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) are children under 2 years of age shouldn’t watch television. Children older than two years of age should watch less than two hours of TV daily, the group says. That’s what AAP has been saying for 15 years now as well. However, the group felt the need in light of changing digital and video habits to re-address and update the information. AAP issued a statement recently saying they needed to update the recommendations “to discourage media use in this age group,” and discourage people even from having televisions turned on with an infant in the room.

It’s a tough fight with modern media habits. AAP research finds 90 percent of parents say electronic media is used by children under 2 years. Promotional materials claiming to be “educational” misleads the public, according to AAP, since no evidence exists those claims are true, especially considering 2-year-olds don’t understand the programming. General playtime without structure are best bets for developing baby problem-solving and creativity, pediatricians believe. Playtime aids reasoning skills and motor skills, pediatricians say. Kids develop best when they have ample time to experience other people. They don’t sleep well following exposure to TV. Kids who watch a lot of TV possibly develop troubles learning to speak and may be obese.

AAP says electronic media is everywhere in society so ask parents whose children use media to employ specific plans to keep the use as structured as possible. Parents should keep track of what the child is doing and watch content with the child. TV sets should not be in a kids bedroom. Electronic media is the enemy of children, AAP says. The media is targeted to adults distracting their attention when the children need it. Parents watch TV instead of playing with young children. Recognizing the facts of life that some parents will have TV sets turned on with young children in the room, the group recommends adult allow the children nearby solo play space so the children, even those younger than 4 months, can have solo play time. This also allows parents to learn more about their children as the children express themselves in the vicinity. AAP issued an updated report pertaining specifically to 2-year-old and younger called “Policy Statement Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years” that contains some of that information and more.

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