Babies And Toddlers Should Play More


BOSTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) — The temptation to entertain babies and toddlers is more appealing than ever, but U.S. researchers recommend children play more and watch fewer TV shows.

In a recent survey, 90 percent of U.S. parents said their children age 2 and under watch some form of electronic media — on average, children this age watch 1-2 hours per day. By age 3, almost one-third of children have a television in their bedroom.

Parents who said educational television is “very important for healthy development” are twice as likely to keep the television on all or most of the time, lead author Dr. Ari Brown said.

The study found:

— Many video programs for infants and toddlers are marketed as educational, yet evidence does not support this.

— Unstructured play time is more valuable for the developing brain than electronic media. Children learn to think creatively, problem solve and develop reasoning and motor skills at early ages through unstructured, unplugged play. Free play also teaches them how to entertain themselves.

— Young children learn best from, and need, interaction with humans, not screens.

— Parents who watch TV or videos with their child may add to the child’s understanding, but children learn more from live presentations than from televised ones.

The findings are published online ahead of the November print issue of Pediatrics.



UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.