Children & Television

Children and Television

Stephanie Dias
EDPS 620
Child Development

Research: American Academy of Pediatrics

There has been extensive research on topics related to children and television. Some have suggested television being the leading cause to childhood obesity, others have argued that television is used as a learning tool. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:

Pediatricians should become educated about the public health risks of media exposure through workshops and written materials. All state chapters and/or districts that have not done so should schedule a media education program for their members.

Pediatricians should begin incorporating questions about media use into their routine visits, including use of the AAP's Media History form. This tool enables youth and parents to examine their media use habits and allow pediatricians to focus on areas of concern and offer counsel and support. Advice to parents should include the following:
      0 encouraging careful selection of programs to view
      1 co-viewing and discussing content with children and adolescents
      2 teaching critical viewing skills
      3 limiting and focusing time spent with media
      4 being good media role models by selectively using media and limiting their own media choices
      5 emphasizing alternative activities
      6 creating an "electronic media-free" environment in children's rooms
      7 avoiding use of media as an electronic baby-sitter

3. Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and...