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.
The report recommends that parents and caregivers:
– Set media limits for their children before age 2, bearing in mind that the AAP discourages media use for this age group. Have a strategy for managing electronic media if they choose to engage their children with it;
– 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. For example, have the child play with nesting cups on the floor nearby while a parent prepares dinner;
– Avoid placing a television set in the child’s bedroom; and
– Recognize that their own media use can have a negative effect on children.
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