That’s two stories on this subject in a fortnight.
Flashback: Television — not in front of the children?
October 28, 2009
Pediatricians in B.C. are ready to adopt a guideline recommending children under the age of two not watch any television at all, according to one leading doctor in the field.
Dr. Tom Warshawski, who is head of pediatrics at Kelowna General Hospital, said repeated studies have shown the problems linked to television viewing, including obesity and an increase in violent activity.
Warshawski, who is member of the B.C. Pediatric Society, said a typical two-year-old is awake about 12 hours a day, and two hours of screen time will cut their development time by close to 15 per cent.
“It’s somewhat artificial, but we do know that the first two or three years of life are periods of rapid brain growth,” he said.
It is widely believed the passive act of watching television interferes with this normal development, he said.
“That aspect of the brain that is used for moving and crawling and climbing also helps cognitive areas of the brain that help with language development and higher orders of thinking.”
The Canadian Pediatric Society is poised to stiffen its position on TV viewing, Warshawski said, although the American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending for about a decade that children under two not watch TV.
The news comes just after a Walt Disney Co. subsidiary was forced to offer refunds on its popular Baby Einstein DVD series for toddlers after it was unable to back up claims they were educational.
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