PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new warning for parents with toddlers. The youngsters should have more play time, less screen time. 90 percent of parents admit their children under two watch some form of electronic media. A recent survey finds that viewing can be one to two hours a day. Now a pediatric group is saying that could be negatively effecting brain development.

Toddlers watching the tube. It happens all of the time, despite the recommendation children two and younger shouldn’t get any screen time, including smart phones and computers.

“My daughter’s been using an iPad since she was one years old. And she plays games on it. She plays letter games. She colors on it. She gets creative on it,” said Jennifer Katz, a mother.

But new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say that screen time isn’t helpful for children under two. It says programs are educational only if the child understands the content and context, which most toddlers don’t.

Another key finding is unstructured play time is more valuable for the developing brain, than electronic media. Experts say children learn to think creatively, problem solve and develop reasoning and motor skills at early ages while playing.

“If they’re interested in it, and they’re figuring it out like an iPad, that is more relevant for them, probably in the future whether people like it or not,” said Allison Fell, a mother.

Experts say if you are going to allow screen time for your toddler make sure you set limits, and don’t allow it near bedtime, that could interfere with sleep.


Healthy Habit for TV, Video Games and the Internet

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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