A new review of international research suggests that specialized programs on television targeted at children under the age of two do more harm than good to the development of the child.
Infants who watched television were found to have short attention spans along with delayed language and cognitive development. A pediatrician and professor at the University of Washington, Dimitri Christakis busts the advantages of TV time for infants by saying, “The scientific evidence of benefit is just not there and the best available evidence suggests harm.” In a paper published in the Acta Pediatrica journal, he observed that the average age when children begin to watch television is presently just five months. A U.S. study found that nearly 29% of the parents polled believed that the programs they let their babies watch were educational.
There are many companies such as Brainy Baby, Baby Genius, and Baby Einstein that produce baby programs and DVDs. Sharon Rechter, co-founder of BabyFirstTV rebuts Christakis’ claims by saying, “We know that children are learning from TV, and the best way to know that is from the millions of viewers around the world who write and tell us they’re amazed by what their children have learned.”