Do We Reveal Too Much About Our Kids Online? When Should You Get Your Kid a Cell Phone? By now, most parents have heard about studies that what age does children start preschool exposing very young children to television.
But the reality is that almost three quarters of infants and toddlers are exposed to TV programs before they turn 2. So what exactly are the dangers? Are any programs or videos acceptable for infants and toddlers? Studies on TV and toddlers are fairly rare, but children’s media expert Shelley Pasnik has scoured the research to answer parents’ most common questions about young children and television. How prevalent is TV in the lives of very young children?
Has there been much research done on the effects of TV on infants and toddlers? Does TV viewing take the place of other activities, such as playing outside? Does it matter what very young children watch? Does the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend against TV viewing for children under the age of 2? Are there differences between girls and boys viewing? Can a very young child understand what’s on TV?
Does TV viewing lead to obesity? Does having a TV on in the background matter? Can TV help a young child’s language development? Can parental rules influence TV viewing? 2-year-olds who watch TV every day say they are in the same room with their child while they are watching TV either all or most of the time. TV before the age of 2. On average, they spend about two hours a day with screen media – the same amount of time as they spend playing outside, and three times as much time as they spend reading or being read to.
For more information: Kaiser Family Foundation’s report on Children and Electronic Media. Over the last three decades many studies have focused on television and children, with a fair amount of emphasis on preschool-aged children. To date, infants and toddlers have received limited attention. This is starting to change given the big boom in programs and products directed at the very young – videos for infants, for example, have exploded in recent years-but a great deal more research is needed. A review of current research has been published by the London-based National Literacy Trust and by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Although several studies suggest age-appropriate programs can help preschoolers learn language, there have been far fewer studies focused on toddlers.