AAP on TV Watching

CHICAGO, July, 1999

Children younger than 2 should not watch television

The largest group representing pediatricians said on Monday.

"While 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 for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional and cognitive skills," the American Assn. of Pediatrics said in its journal, Pediatrics.

The new policy statement by the group, which represents 55,000 physicians, also urged parents to create an "electronic media-free" environment in children's rooms and avoid using the television as a bed-sitter.

Pediatricians should also ask questions about television use during routine doctors' visits, the policy said.

But the group did not rule out television if the message was educational.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited