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Infant TV and language skills

Posted Oct 22 2008 9:30pm

A study published in the August issue of Journal of Pediatrics reports that children under 16 months of age who watch at least one hour a day of baby-geared DVD's have poorer language skills than those who don't.

As we've pointed out in both Baby 411 and Toddler 411, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages ANY screen time (TV, DVD's, computers) for young children under age two. The reason: it is not beneficial and may be detrimental.

While this study doesn't even try to find the reason for this statistical significance, it does point out some valid concerns:
1. Are parents using TV as a babysitter and not engaging with their child?
2. Are parents being led to believe that their baby will be smarter by watching so-called "educational" or "developmentally appropriate" DVD's?
3. Or does the programming itself have a negative effect on development?

75% of the top-selling infant videos make claims that their products are educational however, there are no studies that prove these claims--and now there is one that negates it.

Our take-home message for this latest study: let the buyer beware.

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