In regard to infants/toddlers, the scary statistics are in. Even the research has been researched. The very young perceive TV differently than older children so this brief article will only address this age group.
The first two years of life are the most important period for the development of a child’s brain. During these years, a toddler’s brain is more receptive to positive influences and more vulnerable to negatives ones.
Usually infants and toddlers are exposed to TV or videos for 1-2 hours a day. If background TV is included, young children are exposed to an average of four hours of TV a day.
Here are the scary results of a child’s exposure to screen time:
Infant exposure to TV has been linked to delayed language development and kindergarten readiness skills.
Early exposure has also been connected to attention disorders and sleep problems.
TV at age three has been linked to behavior problems and long-term effects on social development, classroom engagement and academic achievement.
Background TV also threatens cognitive and language development and may be linked to attention problems in childhood.
Based on these concerns, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that children under the age of two do not watch television. Here are their replacement suggestions:
- Talk to your child. Tell him or her a story – it can even be about the weather.
- Sing to your child; the tones, pitches and even the “noise” are new and exciting.
- Point out and count out loud new objects and let your baby touch them.
Your toddler will not be missing out. In fact, it will be the opposite.