In a policy statement entitled, "Media Use by Children Younger Than Two Years," to be published in the forthcoming issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has reiterated its 1999 recommendation that children under the age of two are prevented from watching any TV.
Big news considering that in a recent survey, 90 per cent of parents said their children under age 2 watched "some form of electronic media."
On average, children in this age group watched TV for one to two hours a day. By age 3, almost one third even have a television in their bedroom! Further, parents who believe that television has educational value were twice as likely to keep the television on all or most of the time.
As more is known about children's early brain development, what helps and hinders learning, the AAP stands by its recommendation to keep children under age 2 as "screen-free as possible."
The AAP found that while many programs for infants are marketed as educational, there is no evidence to support that they actually are. Unstructured play is still the key to learning for this age group. TV can cause sleep problems and language delays.
Bottom line: young children learn best from -- and need -- interaction with humans, not screens.