From Universal Preschool's Founder
Diane Flynn Keith...

  • Fun, anytime learning activities
  • Resources that will save you time!
  • Support and Inspiration!
Diane Flynn Keith on FacebookDiane Flynn Keith on TwitterDiane Flynn Keith on Google+Diane Flynn Keith on LinkedInNew articles on


TV Is Bad For Baby

In May, 2007 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released guidelines advising all pediatricians to tell parents not to let their babies watch TV. Apparently, on any given day in America, 68% of infants (ages 0-2) watch television – and 20% watch TV in their own bedrooms! Their parents’ education, ethinicity and level of income did not make a difference.

In a blog by Dr. Thomas Armstrong, author of The Myth of ADD and the newly released, The Human Odyssey, he states that only 6% of the parents of children from ages 0-2 were aware of the guideline to turn off the TV. Armstrong makes the case to get the message out — so more parents can protect their babies from the damage caused by watching television. Here are some excerpts from Armstrong’s blog:

Here’s the problem… The baby’s brain is a veritable thicket of dendrites or brain connections that are strengthened or weakened depending in part upon what kinds of environmental stimuli she receives. …the most important thing for her wellbeing and survival is that she spend a lot of time interacting with the real world, not watching a fake world.

Television, for all it is cracked up to be by media people and educators who should know better (e.g. “it can be very educational” they claim), does not have visual richness (it’s made up of pixels, not real substances), nor does it have auditory richness (infants are particularly sensitive to the hum of electronics, and digital music is no replacement for live music), and of course, importantly, there are no opportunities for hands-on interaction (a joy stick for baby is no substitute for baby’s tactile and kinesthetic curiosity about the world), and above all, there is no human contact in watching TV.

…This is not a good thing for baby, nor is it good for society…

You wouldn’t leave them out on a busy highway. You wouldn’t leave them in a room with a rabid pit bull. You wouldn’t leave them in a room with medicine bottles and electric sockets laying around. So, don’t let them watch TV. TV is the electronic equivalent of all of these other things, only instead of inflicting physical damage, the damage is subtle cognitive, emotional, social, neurological corrosion that may not even be apparent until years later. …

I took the liberty of cutting and pasting some of the Guidelines from the AAP. Please pass this information along to anyone who will listen. Tell them not to let their babies watch TV:

  • Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together.
  • Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.
  • Limit children’s total media time (with entertainment media) to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.
  • Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational, and nonviolent.
  • View television programs along with children, and discuss the content. Two recent surveys involving a total of nearly 1500 parents found that less than half of parents reported always watching television with their children.
  • Use controversial programming as a stepping-off point to initiate discussions about family values, violence, sex and sexuality, and drugs.
  • Use the VCR or DVD player wisely to show or record high-quality, educational programming for children.
  • Encourage alternative entertainment for children, including reading, athletics, hobbies, and creative play.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>