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Entries in TV for children (1)


To Do: Turn off the TV!

Happy 2013! I hope that you and your families had a wonderful holiday and new year! At this point, the kids are probably back in school and life is getting back into a routine. As we settle back into post-holiday life in the new year, I encourage you to think about an important new year’s resolution to add to your list: turning off the TV! It’s always tempting to turn on Yo Gabba Gabba or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to keep the kids occupied while you take a shower or cook dinner. After age 2, this is okay in moderation, but increased time in front of the TV (or any screen for that matter) takes away from interaction with family and other learning opportunities, such as creative play. After age 2, we recommend no more than 2 hours of “screen time” daily (includes TV, computers, video games, tablets, smartphones, etc) and recommend that you avoid putting a TV in your child's bedroom. 

Ideally, children under 2 will not be exposed to much TV at all (though I realize this may be slightly unrealistic at times!). A study published in Pediatrics this month suggests that infant TV exposure may be associated with increased fussiness. Dr. Brown also did a great blog post on Baby Einstein and the potential negative effect of TV stimulation on the young child’s mind. Keep this in mind before you put your baby in the bouncy seat in front of the TV on a regular basis!

With all of the electronic devices readily available to us now, I think it’s important to keep these points in mind – for children of all ages! In fact, as one who often finds myself simultaneously in front of the TV with my laptop on my lap and my iPhone in hand (and my husband doing the same), I also resolve to cut down on my screen time this year. Spend time with your family, use the opportunity to exercise, read books, play games – and encourage your children to do the same!