This week in support group someone mentioned letting their baby watch tv. I piped up with the question, "Why do they say not to let your baby watch tv?". Well the moderator of the group said, "Google it. But some of the reasons are that it is linked to ADHD and affects their eye development." I gotta say I was totally freaked out! I thought they just told you that so you wouldn't be a lazy parent!
So I googled it. The AAP recommends children don't watch tv until age 2. 20 percent of children under the age of 2 have tvs in their rooms. I know an almost 1 year old that has a tv in his room.
The discovery health article, "Is it ok for babies to watch tv?" says there was a study done on baby enstein type videos. "The study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 1,000 families, examining children who were 8 months to 16 months old. Thirty-two percent of children surveyed watched the videos, 17 percent of them for at least an hour a day. To determine how programs like "Baby Einstein" affected development, they focused on vocabulary. On average, for every hour a day a child watched these programs he or she knew six to eight fewer words compared to children of the same age."
The argument is that tv wastes babies' alert time. Since babies sleep 12 hours a day when they are awake we should be talking with them, playing games, and reading to them. If they need to be doing independent play the article says blocks are a great choice.
The same article says, "Experts associate excessive TV watching with a variety of problems in children, among them childhood obesity, ADHD and aggression. Some advocacy groups also express concern about the images children see on "non-educational" TV shows. The AAP estimates that if a child watches between three and four hours of TV a day, he will see 8,000 murders before he starts middle school." That's scary. They associate is with childhood obseity because they are seeing fast food commercials and not going outside to exercise and play.
I found no articles online that discussed eye development.
Now that I have done the research, I'm not making freaking out if Chase glances at the tv. How much and at what age your child watches tv is a family decision. At 12 weeks old I talk to and play with Chase when he is awake. He has some independent play time on his playmat. If no one is around to entertain him, his hands seem to keep him pretty occupied. I have no reason to plop him in front of a tv. I don't think we will wait until age 2 to let him watch tv though. Right now the tv is on sometimes when I am feeding Chase or when I'm holding him while he is napping. When my husband gets home I usually turn it off because its just extra noise.
What are your tv rules in your house? Do you have any other mommy advice? Write a post and link up!