Study: Allowing toddlers to watch TV could interfere with development - - Columbia, South Carolina

Study: Allowing toddlers to watch TV could interfere with development

NATIONAL (NBC) - New research suggests there's no benefit to letting young children watch television of any type, even those specially packaged, educational DVD's.

In fact, they could actually interfere with the development of a child two years old or younger.

North Carolina mom Jodi McKay is much like moms and dads across the country when it comes to their children watching television.  

"We've got three young kids and so the TV does become a babysitter at times, but as much as possible we try to limit the amount of television that they watch," said McKay.

Researchers have long said that attitude is the right one for all children, but a report from Children's Hospital in Boston suggests watching TV is of no real benefit to toddlers like Jodi McKay's 18-month-old baby girl, Wyatt.

"We found that TV viewing in the first two years of life did not have any benefits or harms relating to children's cognition at age three," said lead researcher Marie Evans Schmidt, Ph.D., of Children's Hospital Boston.

Researchers also said that even those educational DVD's may not help the two and under crowd.

Baby Einstein representatives say their videos foster quality time between parents and their children, and are "designed to inspire new ways for parents and babies to interact."

Experts say they are still in the early stages of understanding the effects of TV on infants, but say the balance of evidence still recommends limiting TV exposure as much as possible.

Posted by Bryce Mursch

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